DOJ Prevails In Ebook Price-Fixing Lawsuit

justice_tabletJudge Denise Cote ruled in favor of the Department of Justice and said that any damages Apple will have to pay could be established during a later trial. In short, the ruling means that Apple conspired with Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster to raise e-book prices and stopped retailers from competing on price.

The DOJ noted in a press release that “the evidence showed that the prices of the conspiring publishers’ e-books increased by an average of 18 percent as a result of the collusive effort led by Apple.”

Pub Luch goes into the judge’s view and Apple’s role in the conspiracy here: “If Apple is suggesting that Amazon was engaging in illegal, monopolistic practices, and that Apple’s combination with the Publisher Defendants to deprive a monopolist of some of its market power is pro-competitive and healthy for our economy, it is wrong.”

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Apple Lost. Now What? (Fox News)
A spokesperson for Apple said unsurprisingly that the company “will continue to fight against these false accusations.” Meanwhile Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General, described the ruling as a win for consumers, who will pay less for ebooks thanks to retail price competition.

Will Apple Have To Pay Anything At All? (Forbes)
An appeal could take another full year to run its course. None-the-less, one antitrust lawyer suspects that Apple will pay damages in relation to sales made while agency pricing was in effect.

The ALA Annual Conference: Re-Discovering Authors and Books (DBW)
This year’s American Library Association conference saw the launch of Authors for Library Ebooks, “a new initiative to engage authors to stand with libraries for equitable library access to ebooks” and more.

Baker & Taylor Picks Up Ebook Distribution Service in Acquisition (Pub Lunch)
The company has merged with Bookmasters to bolster its distribution and integrated publishing services, putting it more direct competition with Ingram.

What Will Textbooks of the Future Look Like? (DBW)
Inkling believes digital textbooks will be “highly interactive, non-linear, and cloud-based.” DBW blogger Beth Bacon outlines the features that such e-textbooks could encompass.

Big Investment in China’s Top Digital Publishing Platform (Pub Perspectives)
Goldman Sachs and Temasek have invested $110 Million in Shanda Cloudary, maker of the Bambook e-reader.

Polis Books to Launch as Digital-Only Publisher (PW)
The new undertaking from Jason Pinter will focus on crime, science fiction and commercial women’s fiction. The future may bring YA and nonfiction imprints as well as print books.

Amazon’s Strategy to Take Over Bookselling Uncovered? (TeleRead)
Swordfish Communications president and contributor David K. Wolpert has fashioned a guide to Amazon’s past acquisitions and made some predictions for the future. And, there’s an infographic.

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About DeannaUtroske

Deanna Utroske is the Content Producer at Digital Book World and an active member of New York Women in Communications, where she serves on the Integrated Marketing & Communications Committee. Previously, Deanna worked in the editorial office of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, a publication of the University of Chicago Press.


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