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Nilay Patel Analyzes the DOJ Antitrust Case Against Publishers and Apple


Wed, 11 Apr 2012 «permalink»

Nilay Patel at The Verge:

We just got our hands on the DOJ’s antitrust complaint against Apple and seven major publishers, including HarperCollins, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan, and it’s rather something: the government alleges that the publishing industry openly colluded to raise ebook prices and end Amazon’s dominance, and that Apple was a willing participant in the scheme. What’s more, the alleged conspiracy sounds like it was actually quite a conspiracy, with secret CEO meetings in private New York dining rooms and promises made to bosses up and down the chain. It’s all quite juicy, so let’s dig in.

MG Siegler makes some great commentary on the whole thing:

The high-level idea, that the publishers wanted to move to the agency model (where they could set prices that retailers charge for their books) and that Apple was willing to give them this model shouldn’t be surprising. The question is if they colluded to do this — and Apple’s supposed “most favored nation” clause certainly doesn’t look good.

and:

Amazon is obviously thrilled about all of this. They want to go back to $9.99 e-books.

I’d love that too — all consumers would. But the issue is really the publishers versus Amazon here. They’re (probably rightfully) worried that if Amazon can go back to completely owning the market, there will be no stopping them from say, replacing the publishers outright one day (which they’re already trying to do).