Some publishers already settling on e-book pricing, but Apple's not budging yet
Apple, Penguin, and Macmillan haven't shown any signs of settling with the Department of Justice over charges of e-book pricing collusion issued yesterday, sources say. However, the other publishers in the suit, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster, are likely to settle before the investigation goes any further. Those who settle would basically be letting Amazon take back its throne as the god-king of e-books, since publishers were "forced" to raise their prices there due to the contract with Apple that forbade them to offer the books for cheaper anywhere else (known as "the most favored nation" clause). Apple obviously isn't interested in allowing Amazon to undercut them if the iBookstore is going to have any hope of success.
On the upshot, any settlement means that consumers will be able to enjoy cheaper e-books on iOS devices, no matter which store you go with. Amazon seems willing to take a loss on pricing so long as it drives rivals out of the market. That said, is it unfair that Amazon is using its existing position of leverage to lock out competition, or should Apple be doing what's best for consumers rather than what makes publishers the most money?
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