Apple, Macmillan, And Ebook Price Fixing: What's Going On?

Posted by Bhavesh Joshi On Saturday, February 23, 2013 0 comments

Apple, Macmillan, And Ebook Price Fixing: What's Going On?
It seems that Apple has been in the news a lot lately, and not for its groundbreaking technological gadgetry. What's going on? If you want to learn more about a big-time lawsuit involving Apple and some other major players, then you've come to the right place. Here is what you need to know about Apple, Macmillan, and ebook price fixing:

The lawsuit.

In April of 2012, the United States Department of Justice  filed a large lawsuit against Apple and a handful of major publishers, including Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, HarperCollins, and Macmillan. The allegation is that these publishers have been working together to keep the prices of ebooks unnecessarily high in Apple's iBookstore and Amazon (as well as other, smaller online book retailers), trumping Amazon's previously accepted standard price of $9.99. According to federal lawmakers, this is in breach of United States antitrust law.

Apple left to battle alone.

For a while, Macmillan was holding strong with Apple, refusing to cave to the allegations. However, just recently, Macmillan threw in the towel - not admitting to any wrongdoing but, rather, citing financial limitations in the need to settle. According to Macmillan, the economic strain of continuing the court battle could potentially put the relatively small (when compared to the others) publisher. This leaves Apple to toe the line alone, and Apple doesn't show any signs of backing down. How will this end up for Apple? As of yet, we have no way of knowing. Apple's legal proceedings are not scheduled to take place until June of 2013.

What the settlements mean for consumers.

These recent developments could have seriously exciting implications for consumers. Not only does it appear that prices will automatically be lower (some of the settling publishers have already disclosed plans to lower prices), but it also seems that you can expect to have a number of new ways to access the ebooks you love. These include subscriptions to authors or genres of your choosing, monthly memberships (picture unlimited ebook access) to publishers' and retailers' book clubs, and ebook renting. While it will take at least sixty days for the settlements to be reviewed and enacted by the court system, you can rest assured that, when that waiting period is over, readers will rejoice from lower prices and exciting new ebook options.

Apple is, once again, in the midst of controversy. Fortunately, it appears that this controversy could ultimately result in more money in your pocket book - and more books on your ereader. Stay tuned to find out when, exactly, these changes will reach you, the consumer.


Post a Comment