EC looking into Apple, major publisher e-book price fixing

EC looking into Apple, major publisher e-book price fixing
The European Commission has launched its investigation into whether ebook publishers Lagardere, Pearson Plc, News Corp, CBS and MacMillan colluded with Apple to price-fix ebooks, making it more expensive for the end consumer.

Says the EC (via Reuters):

The Commission will in particular investigate whether these publishing groups and Apple have engaged in illegal agreements or practices that would have the object or the effect of restricting competition in the European Union or in the European Economic Area.

The Commission is also examining the character and terms of the agency agreements entered into by the above named five publishers and retailers for the sale of e-books.

News Corp. owns Harper Collins, Lagardere owns Hachette, CBS owns Simon & Schuster and Pearson owns Penguin, meaning all the big boys of the publishing world are part of the investigation.

All the companies have said they are cooperating.

In 2010, with the launch of the iPad, publishers moved to the "agency model," where they are allowed to the set the price of the ebooks, and the revenue is then shared with the retailer. Before that, publishers would sell all their books for 50 percent of retail price on a wholesale basis. Retailers were then allowed to sell at any price they chose, cutting into their own margins if necessary.

Written by: Andre Yoskowitz @ 6 Dec 2011 14:58
Apple European Commission iPad ebooks Penguin harper
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  • 1 comment
  • llongtheD

    Apple colluding to price fix, now that's a shock. With the bargain basement pricing of their hardware, I find it hard to believe they'd try and screw the consumer over on software.
    I'm not lumping apple in with other entertainment companies, but why are these corporations spending untold millions on political bribes trying to get laws like SOPA passed. Corporate control of the internet is here, get used to it, you won't even get to vote on it. Of course "politicians" will get paid, and this will all be brushed under the rug and forgotten. Next week they'll give us something new to argue about, keep us fighting amongst ourselves.

    6.12.2011 20:58 #1

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