Macmillan, DOJ: What Does It Mean for Everybody Else?

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shutterstock_90664003Late last week, Macmillan and the U.S. Department of Justice agreed on a settlement to resolve the issue of alleged collusion and ebook price-fixing between Macmillan, four other U.S. publishers and Apple.
 
The settlement was basically the same as those signed by HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin and Simon & Schuster except for two key differences:
1. It allows for retailers to start discounting Macmillan ebooks before they even have new contracts with the publishers (and discounting could start as early as this week).
2. It allows for a slightly shorter “cooling off” period in which Macmillan has to have a new and different relationship with its retailers. Other publishers that settled had to wait two years from when they signed their agreements. Macmillan will have to wait roughly 23 months.
 
So, what does it mean for all other publishers? Likely, more ebooks will be sold at lower prices, putting downward price pressure on all ebooks. Publishers should be preparing for a very different pricing environment than they’re used to – and fast.
 


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The rest of the day’s top news:
 
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Image Credit: discount cubes image via Shutterstock

 
 
 
 

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