US government sues Apple and publishers over ebook price fixing

The US government is suing Apple and a number of major publishers over the alleged fixing of ebook prices in order to stamp out competition.

The US government is suing Apple and a number of major publishers over the alleged fixing of ebook prices in order to stamp out competition.

 
The publishers included in the lawsuit are some of the biggest names in the industry, including HarperCollins, MacMillon, Simon & Schuster, Pearson Plc, and Hachette Book Group, revealing potentially widespread abuse of the growing digital book medium.
 
Apple is seen as the centre of this scandal, however, with the Department of Justice filing accusing it of facilitating the publishers' “collective effort to end retail price competition by coordinating their transition to an agency model across all retailers.”
 
 US government sues Apple and publishers over ebook price fixing
 
Ebooks are a growing phenomenon that some believe will eventually replace tradition paper-based books. While this is unlikely, ebooks are certainly taking the world by storm, with online bookstore Amazon now selling more ebooks than hardcopy books, largely thanks to the success of its Kindle devices.
 
Apple has been vying for a higher share in the ebook market by launching ebook services for its iPhone and iPad range and inking several lucrative deals with big name publishers, including a partnership for digital textbooks
 
If Apple is found guilty of encouraging and facilitating this price-fixing it could lose a lot of money, not just in fines and penalties, but in lost revenue that might go to rival ebook services who might now be better able to compete.
 
Source: Reuters