E-book contracts from Apple, Amazon spur anticompetitive inquiry

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
A new review of e-book contracts between publishers and content providers like Apple and Amazon aims to determine whether the deals are anticompetitive.



The office of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal conducted an initial review of e-book prices from Amazon's Kindle platform and Apple's iBooks, and found that the prices of bestsellers were often identical. Blumenthal said he will push forward with a preliminary review of the agreements made by book publishers, as he is concerned they could be anticompetitive, according to The Wall Street Journal.



"These agreements among publishers, Amazon and Apple appear to have already resulted in uniform prices for many of the most popular e-books?potentially depriving consumers of competitive prices," Blumenthal reportedly said.



The attorney general said he believes the agreements hurt competition by preventing other stores from offering lower e-book prices.



Some major publishers earlier this year switched to the "agency model", which allows the company serving the content to take a cut. In the case of Apple and the iBookstore, the iPad maker keeps 30 percent of all sales while the publisher divvies up the rest.



Blumenthal said he believes the agency model means it is less likely that publishers will offer discounts competing booksellers that serve as an alternative to the Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks storefronts. The Connecticut review comes after the Texas attorney general has also begun a similar inquiry.



Apple announced in June that it had already grabbed 22 percent of the e-book market, in just over two months after the iBookstore launched. Apple sold more than 5 million digital books to early adopters of the iPad touchscreen tablet.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,186member
    I am surprised this took so long.
  • Reply 2 of 15
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,583member
    Aren't the publishers covered by the same cartel status as the music labels?
  • Reply 3 of 15
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    about time.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    Q: What do automotive repair, soybean farming, and the manufacture of processed cheese foods have in common?



    A: Those are the three industries Steve Jobs hasn't pissed off this year.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 607member
    I can't believe it has taken so long to get some more books in the iBook store in other countries. It is such a wasted opportunity.

    There is only so many times that you can read Winnie The Pooh.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,581member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lostkiwi View Post


    I can't believe it has taken so long to get some more books in the iBook store in other countries. It is such a wasted opportunity.

    There is only so many times that you can read Winnie The Pooh.



    How many?
  • Reply 7 of 15
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,762member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Blumenthal said he believes the agency model means it is less likely that publishers will offer discounts competing booksellers that serve as an alternative to the Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks storefronts. The Connecticut review comes after the Texas attorney general has also begun a similar inquiry.



    I'm all for inquires into price fixing, collusion or other such anti-competitive / illegal practices.

    But to the best of my knowledge, they have to have more than dissapointment in the business model of a company. Or is the implication that the "agency model" is inherently illegal?
  • Reply 8 of 15
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Didn't apple let publishers set their own prices that were often higher then Amazon's prices?



    I really don't know cause I don't read books you have to pay for ( I am currently reading the Iliad which is free on Ibooks and Kindle) but last I heard the prices for e-books were cheaper then paper.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 432member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    last I heard the prices for e-books were cheaper then paper.



    They are, but apparently people think they're not cheap enough.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 607member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    How many?



    One more than the last time!

    I have been referring to complete strangers as Christopher Robin. I also now have an an unnatural attraction to honey.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lostkiwi View Post


    One more than the last time!

    I have been referring to complete strangers as Christopher Robin. I also now have an an unnatural attraction to honey.



    I'd be a lot more worried if you had an unnatural attraction to Christopher Robin and started calling everyone Honey !
  • Reply 12 of 15
    bobkbobk Posts: 2member
    ibooks selection can't hold a candle to the kindle app. Every time I want to get a book, ibooks doesn't have it. I have read 1 book on the ibooks app and 6 through the kindle app.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    gmhutgmhut Posts: 242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lostkiwi View Post


    One more than the last time!

    I have been referring to complete strangers as Christopher Robin. I also now have an an unnatural attraction to honey.



    The time after you find yourself with an iPad sporting a copy of Winnie-the-Pooh on the screen in one hand, a jar of honey in the other, and your pants around you ankles, is one time too many.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bartfat View Post


    They are, but apparently people think they're not cheap enough.



    That isn't universally true. I seen many ebooks that are cheaper than the hardcover version, but not the paperback.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    daemonkdaemonk Posts: 49member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post


    That isn't universally true. I seen many ebooks that are cheaper than the hardcover version, but not the paperback.



    Which is nuts, if you think about it.
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