Monday, June 3, 2013

Apple, Department of Justice Head to Court Over E-Book Pricing

It has all the twists of a John Grisham legal thriller (or my legal thriller for that
matter).  But the ending has yet to be written.

This week Apple and the U.S. Government square off in court over the pricing of E-books.  And waiting in the wings is Amazon, who appears to be the target of Apple's defense.

Last year the Department of Justice ("DOJ") sued the big five publishers and Apple to court, claiming a price-fixing collusion in violation of Anti-Trust laws.  The claim is that Apple and the publishers set minimum prices for their best-selling ebooks. The purpose was to counter Amazon's below-cost pricing of bestsellers and to help cut into Amazon's share of the ebook market, which at one time exceeded 90 percent.

All five publishers settled with the DOJ.  The result is that their best-sellers are now often being offered by Amazon at below cost prices.

But Apple refused to settle, dug in its heels, and is going to Court.   Apple's courtroom target may not be the DOJ.  The proverbial elephant in the courtroom is Amazon.  Although Amazon is not a party, Apple has already let it be known that its strategy will include internal Amazon email that are none-too-flattering to Amazon's view of its customers and its marketing strategy.

Stay tuned.  As Betty Davis once said, "It's going to be a bumpy ride."

For the Washington Post article on the lawsuit, CLICK HERE.

photo credit: <a href="">blakespot</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

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