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  • Apple, Publishers Offer Concessions to Retailers to Avoid Antitrust Suit


    According to Reuters, Apple and four publishers have offered concessions to retailers as a way to avoid an antitrust suit from the European Union, allowing them to sell e-books at a discounted rate for two years. The details of the offer were shared by an unnamed source and disclosed to Reuters today. Apple is said to have made the deal along with Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillan.

    If the details are true, they signal a change for Apple, which chose not to settle and resolve a similar investigation in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Justice filled an antitrust suit against Apple in April, accusing the iPad maker of price fixing and collusion with publishers such as Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Penguin. Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins decided to settle their cases with the Department of Justice to avoid the antitrust suit, while Apple did not. This leaves Apple reportedly hoping its concessions, along with the four publishing partners will ward off an antitrust investigation from the European Commission which previously announced its investigation in late 2011. Now, the Commission is said to be “sounding out opinions from the industry” to determine whether or not the concessions offered by Apple and others are sufficient.

    For those of you who didn’t already know, Apple and five major book publishers have been accused of colluding to inflate e-book prices through Apple’s iBookstore, a move that allegedly helped take some market share away from the industry leader, Amazon. Book publishers opted to switch to the “agency model” upon the arrival of iBooks for the iPad, allowing publishers to set e-book prices as they see fit, barring distributors from pushing prices lower. Previously, e-books were sold by the market leader Amazon under the “wholesale model,” which allowed the online retailer to set their own prices. Amazon ended up continually selling content at a discounted rate to drum up business, a move which left publishers feeling bitter as the prices were too low and hurt other businesses that also sold books.

    Source: Reuters
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple, Publishers Offer Concessions to Retailers to Avoid Antitrust Suit started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      To retailers?? The real person that was hurt by this is the consumer!
      I hope they go ahead and start the Antitrust suit, they all deserve it.
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by unison999 View Post
      To retailers?? The real person that was hurt by this is the consumer!
      I hope they go ahead and start the Antitrust suit, they all deserve it.

      Problem is this will become a big lawsuit with individuals getting a check in the mail for a couple of bucks and some POS law firm getting like 20 million or something. God bless the legal system. Look for an e-mail soon saying you can join the law suit if you bought a book in the timeframe effected.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by 1shuttle1 View Post
      Problem is this will become a big lawsuit with individuals getting a check in the mail for a couple of bucks and some POS law firm getting like 20 million or something. God bless the legal system. Look for an e-mail soon saying you can join the law suit if you bought a book in the timeframe effected.
      You mean class action lawsuit. That is totally separate.
      Never join class action lawsuit, do it yourself with small claims court.
      You will get a lot more money and usually you win because big company rather settle on such a small amount than come to court.