Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
This just in from HarperCollins:
Vice President, Corporate Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HarperCollins Publishers Settles e-Book Pricing Dispute with the Department of Justice
New York, NY (April 11, 2012) — HarperCollins Publishers today announced that it has reached an agreement with the United States Department of Justice to end its investigation into HarperCollins’ contracts for the distribution of e-books. HarperCollins did not violate any anti-trust laws and will comply with its obligations under the agreement. HarperCollins’ business terms and policies have been, and continue to be, designed to give readers the greatest choice of formats, features, value, platforms and partners – for both print and digital.
After HarperCollins adopted the agency model in 2010, the e-book market exploded, giving consumers more choices of devices, formats and prices that would never have existed but for the agency model. Some examples include:
The iBookstore, which offers iTunes customers a storefront to buy HarperCollins’ books
The launch of Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Book Store, which grew faster than any other platform for HarperCollins’ titles over the last two years
Prices for dedicated e-readers declined from almost $400 to under $100, and competition exploded in the device market, making the e-book reading experience less expensive
Dynamic pricing of HarperCollins’ e-books, including some titles priced under $2, was introduced to maximize the sales and reach of our authors and their books
The introduction of color tablets with native e-book stores led by Apple and Barnes & Noble, which are now the fastest selling devices for e-book consumers
The introduction and rapid development of enhanced e-books with audio, video and interactivity, which are a fast-growing digital format for HarperCollins
HarperCollins faced legal challenges on five separate fronts, including the DOJ investigation which was resolved today. The e-book market has grown over the last two years from a small e-ink market, dominated by one platform, to a $1B market with several competing platforms. HarperCollins made a business decision to settle the DOJ investigation in order to end a potentially protracted legal battle.
About HarperCollins Publishers
HarperCollins, one of the largest English-language publishers in the world, is a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NWS, NWSLV). Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups around the world including the HarperCollins General Books Group, HarperCollins Children’s Books Group, Zondervan, HarperCollins UK, HarperCollins Canada, HarperCollins Australia/New Zealand and HarperCollins India. HarperCollins is a broad-based publisher with strengths in literary and commercial fiction, business books, children’s books, cookbooks, mystery, romance, reference, religious and spiritual books. With nearly 200 years of history HarperCollins has published some of the world’s foremost authors and has won numerous awards including the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, the Newbery Medal and the Caldecott. Consistently at the forefront of innovation and technological advancement, HarperCollins is the first publisher to digitize its content and create a global digital warehouse to protect the rights of its authors, meet consumer demand and generate additional business opportunities. You can visit HarperCollins Publishers on the Internet at http://www.harpercollins.com.