On December 17, 2011,  I wrote an article Expect to pay more for your eBooks, one more consumer rip off to add to the list. My article points out that eBook readers could potentially expect to see rising costs of electronically published books. It reveals a price fixing strategy allegedly instigated by Apple that prevents retailers from discounting eBooks without the publisher’s permission. Although six top book publishers attended a meeting to set the prices Apple was behind the idea because they wanted to get into the eBook business.

According to a Wall Street Journal article published yesterday, March 8, 2012, by RTTNews.com,  Apple is on the brink of being sued by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) for allegedly concocting the plan I wrote about back in December, 2011with five publishers to fix electronic book prices.

The alleged price fixing actually goes back to early 2010 when Applie was about to launch its first version of iPad. The DoJ has warned Apple with enforcement of antitrust lawsuits if it plans on raising prices of e-books by colluding five of the biggest book publishers. Interestingly, the publishers involved have denied acting jointly to raise prices.

“The publishers include Hachette Livre (Lagardère Publishing of France), Harper Collins (News Corp. of USA), Simon & Schuster (CBS Corp. of USA), Penguin (Pearson Group of U.K.) and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck (owner of inter alia Macmillan of Germany).”

Apple is already facing the close scrutiny of European regulators. In December 2010, the European Commission has also opened antitrust proceedings against Apple and the same five publishers quoted above. The inquiry plans to discover whether they engaged in anti-competitive pricing practices that would affect the sale of eBooks in Europe.

It has been reported that some of the publishers are in settlement talks with the Justice Department to avoid a court battle.

“A settlement or a successful lawsuit will see customers gaining access to cheaper e-books.”

There’s more. If you’d like to read the entire article click on RTTNews.com.



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