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Apple seeks ebooks price-fixing trial

Sections: Apple Business, Apple News, Apple Software, iDevice Apps, iPad, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Mac Software

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In response to Department of Justice allegations accusing Apple of fixing the price of ebooks, Apple has requested a trial. Macmillan and Penguin publishing companies are supporting Apple in this move.

Apple was accused of conspiring with five publishing houses—Macmillan, Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette Book Group—to fix the prices of their ebooks in the iBookstore. The accusation rose from Apple’s policy of allowing the publisher to set the price of ebooks in exchange for not allowing them to be sold at a different price elsewhere, such as competitor Amazon.com. Ultimately, this forced Amazon to agree to the agency pricing model, resulting in higher prices on Amazon.com ebooks.

With the DoJ on Amazon’s side, accusing Apple of non-competitive practices, it seems at face value like a good move for competition in the ebook sphere. However, prior to the iBookstore, Amazon had, as John Gruber puts it, “a stranglehold” on the ebook industry. If this move succeeds, and Apple is forced to allow Amazon to sell ebooks at a cheaper price, it will only serve to increase Amazon’s strength in the field. Which outcome proves more anti-competitive comes down to the strength of either side’s legal defense.

Via [The Consumerist]

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