Sunday, May 9, 2021

U.S. Sues Apple, Publishers Over E-Book Pricing

Wall Street Journal: The U.S. Department of Justice has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the country’s largest publishing companies: Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, Pearson PLC’s Penguin Group (USA) and Macmillan. The feds allege that companies colluded on pricing and hindered competition when they all entered into agreements with Apple to switch to an agency pricing model. “Defendants’ ongoing conspiracy and agreement have caused e-book consumers to pay tens of millions of dollars more for e-books than they otherwise would have paid,” charged the lawsuit.

The DOJ lawsuit includes a quote from Steve Jobs, who allegedly said, “We’ll go to [an] agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30 percent, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you want anyway.”

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