U.S. Department of Justice Names Apple In Giant Antitrust Suit

U.S. Department of Justice Names Apple In Giant Antitrust Suit

It’s long been rumored that the Department of Justice would file an antitrust suit against Apple for e-book price fixing, but now it’s happening, as the United States DoJ just filed such a suit against Apple, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Penguin.

At issue here is Apple’s attempt to overthrow Amazon’s hegemony on e-book selling by collaborating with publishers ahead of the iBookstore launch to standardize how much is charged for e-books, not just through Apple, but through Amazon as well.

Amazon famously wouldn’t let e-book publishers charge more than $9.99 on the Kindle Store, but Apple upset this by getting major publishers to agree to sell their books on the iBookstore at higher prices, forcing Amazon to allow publishers to charge the same amount on the Kindle Store or lose their library of titles from those publishers.

It’s always been an ironic case, considering the fact that Apple has effectively fixed prices for music on the iTunes store since inception. Amazon did the same thing, but when Apple muscled into the e-book space, they did so by effectively adopting a pro-agency, anti-consumer model.

We’ll have to see how this lawsuit shakes out. More as we get it.

Related
  • aardman

    Can’t believe DoJ is suing to protect Amazon’s dominance in e-books.

  • the_bigZ

    DoJ won’t win. Apple has done nothing illegal. This is just another story of a company (i.e. Amazon) scared of Apple beating them. Amazon threw some money at the DoJ’s way to make them do their bidding

  • Bob Forsberg

    Another well planned DOJ Fast & Furious operation. Why do we pay these people?

  • Matheus Soares

    They are completely right! Stop the blind rage people! Cheaper e-books means more accessible education and wider adoption of this format of book in schools. Forget this Amazon / Apple competition nonsense!

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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