Publishers finally respond to DOJ/ebook suit

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A suit was filed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in April this year against Apple and several publishers alleging that they had conspired to set ebook prices. Apple responded almost immediately, while three of the publishers settled with the DoJ.The two remaining publishers in the suit, Penguin and Macmillan, have now responded to the accusations.

Part of Penguin’s reply to the charges is that adopting the contentious agency model didn’t kill competitive pricing but instead moved it from “the retail level to the publisher level”, with the company claiming that since its inception the agency model resulted in “more dynamic pricing of eBooks, which has resulted in lower consumer prices on many, many eBook titles.” The company denies any conspiracy to fix prices, saying that the agency model “…made independent business sense to Penguin”

Macmillan’s reply to the DoJ complaint also denies any involvement in conspiracy, saying that the charges are “…based entirely on the little circumstantial evidence it was able to locate during its extensive investigation, on which it piles innuendo on top of innuendo, stretches facts and implies actions that did not occur and which Macmillan denies unequivocally.” Macmillan states that meetings between publishers – which were listed in complaint – dealt with the Bookish and aNobii projects and had nothing to do with agency pricing.

Source: Digital Trends

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