Apple Should Be Breaking New Ground – Not The Law

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, which once had 90% of the ebook market; today, the figure is thought to be around 65%. Photograph: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, which once had 90% of the ebook market; today, the figure is thought to be around 65%. Photograph: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

theguardian:

After more than a year of debate, US district judge Denise Cote handed down a ruling this month in the case of  United States of America v Apple Inc., otherwise known as the ebooks pricing case. The US Justice Department accused Apple of conspiring with the big five publishers, and the judge agreed, calling it a “brilliant scheme” to raise ebook prices. This was “agency pricing”: because Apple allowed publishers to set their own prices for ebooks on its devices, publishers could justify imposing the same model on Amazon – which was always the real target of the whole business.

Terrified of Amazon’s growing power in the book industry (at one point it had cornered up to 90% of the ebook market, a segment which will only grow; though it is now thought to have around 65%), publishers were prepared to do pretty much anything to protect themselves, their negotiating power and their bottom line. Well, when I say anything, I mean they were prepared to flirt with anti-trust law and conspire among themselves to raise prices. What they weren’t prepared to do was innovate or work for the benefit of their readers.

Read the whole story at theguardian

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