Apple denies e-book pricing conspiracy

April 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: Apple, book publishers facing potential US suit: WSJ

Related Stories

Authors Guild worried by Apple e-book suit report

March 10, 2012

The president of the Authors Guild expressed concern on Friday over reports that the Justice Department is threatening to file an antitrust suit against Apple and book publishers.

US sues Apple, publishers over e-book prices

April 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 should have cost ...

Recommended for you

'Droneboarding' takes off in Latvia

January 22, 2017

Skirted on all sides by snow-clad pine forests, Latvia's remote Lake Ninieris would be the perfect picture of winter tranquility—were it not for the huge drone buzzing like a swarm of angry bees as it zooms above the solid ...

Singapore 2G switchoff highlights digital divide

January 22, 2017

When Singapore pulls the plug on its 2G mobile phone network this year, thousands of people could be stuck without a signal—digital have-nots left behind by the relentless march of technology.

Making AI systems that see the world as humans do

January 19, 2017

A Northwestern University team developed a new computational model that performs at human levels on a standard intelligence test. This work is an important step toward making artificial intelligence systems that see and understand ...

Firms push hydrogen as top green energy source

January 18, 2017

Over a dozen leading European and Asian firms have teamed up to promote the use of hydrogen as a clean fuel and cut the production of harmful gasses that lead to global warming.

0 comments

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.