Apple denies e-book pricing conspiracy

Apr 13, 2012
Photo illustration of an eBook reader app on an Apple iPad. Apple on Thursday denied a charge that it schemed with publishers to hike prices for e-books, portraying itself as a hero for prying Amazon's "monopolistic grip" from the market.

Apple denied a charge that it schemed with publishers to hike prices for e-books, portraying itself as a hero for prying Amazon's "monopolistic grip" from the market.

"The DOJ's accusation of collusion against Apple is simple not true," Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said in an emailed statement a day after a was filed.

"The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry."

The sued Apple and five publishing firms Wednesday alleging a conspiracy to raise prices and limit competition for e-books. It immediately announced a partial settlement in the case.

Officials said three of the publishers agreed to end the scheme to force retailers such as Amazon to accept a new pricing plan that ended their ability to offer discounts for electronic books.

A Kindle e-reader. Prior to the introduction of Apple's iPad, online retail giant Amazon sold electronic versions of many new best sellers for $9.99.

Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster reached a settlement but the case will proceed against Apple and the other two -- Macmillan and Penguin Group -- "for conspiring to end e-book retailers' freedom to compete on price," the Justice Department said.

Attorney General Eric Holder said that as a result of the conspiracy, "consumers paid millions of dollars more for some of the most popular titles," and competition was eliminated.

Prior to the introduction of Apple's iPad, online retail giant Amazon sold electronic versions of many new best sellers for $9.99.

After Apple's "agency" model was adopted, the prices rose to $12.99 and higher, the suit said, and price competition among retailers was "unlawfully eliminated."

Explore further: IBM buys small Denver startup AlchemyAPI to expand Watson

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US sues Apple, publishers over e-book prices

Apr 11, 2012

(AP) -- The government says avid best-seller readers who use electronic books have been getting ripped off. Tina Fey's "Bossy Pants," Tim Tebow's "Through My Eyes" and Keith Richards' `"Life" - maybe they ...

Recommended for you

Visa, MasterCard moving into mobile pay in Africa

Mar 03, 2015

Americans may just be getting used to mobile pay, but consumers in many African countries have been paying with their phones for years. Now payment processors Visa and MasterCard want to get a slice of that market, and are ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.