Apple shoots down allegations of electronic book 'price fixing'

   Apr 13, 3:53 pm

Washington, Apr 13 (ANI): Apple has denied allegations of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) that it schemed with publishers over the pricing of their electronic book, iBookstore and said the charges were 'simply not true'.

"The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry," The Telegraph quoted Apple's spokesperson, Natalie Kerris, as saying.

"Just as we have allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore," Kerris said, defending the fact that the current pricing structure of the electronic book is similar to Apple's mobile software store.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has sued the technology giant for reportedly violating antitrust laws with five major book publishers: HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin Group, Macmillan and Simon and Schuster.

The DoJ claimed that in Spetember 2008 and January 2009, Apple chief executives had met with the publishers for a series of dinners in a private room at a New York restaurant, where they are alleged to have discussed "business matters", and on another occasion, they met with a sixth publisher, where they "discussed the growth of e-books and complained about Amazon's role in that growth".

The reports said that in 2010 the five publishers, accused of colluding with Apple, had signed up to the so-called "agency model" of pricing, under which they would command the price of an ebook as long as they give 30pc of the revenues to the retailer.

The DoJ said that publishers saw the rise on e-books, and particularly Amazon's price discounting, as a substantial challenge to their traditional business model and to tackle this, they "teamed up with Apple, which shared the same goal of restraining retail price competition." (ANI)

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