Apple Objects to eBook Pricing Settlement

Apple has vowed to appeal a settlement in an eBook pricing case against it, according to Hillicon Valley.

The Department of Justice sued Apple and five eBook publishers this year for allegedly trying to raise eBook prices so Amazon would not be able to dominate the market.

The Alleged Pricing Model

Amazon had set the price of all eBooks at $9.99. According to the DOJ, Apple and the publishers agreed to a system where publishers, not bookstores, would set the retail prices of eBooks. That apparently resulted in a $2 to $3 increase in price to prevent Amazon from undercutting the competition.

Apple Objects to Partial Settlement

Three of the five publishers settled the case with the DOJ as follows:

  • The will abandon the pricing model with Apple
  • They will not agree to such a model for at least two years
  • They cannot guarantee Apple the best prices on eBooks for five years.

Apparently, the pricing agreement lowered Amazon's share of the market from 90% to 60%. Apple argued that it deserves its day in court before the judge decides whether or not to accept the settlement. The judge accepted it anyway, and Apple has vowed to appeal.

What's Good for the Goose...

Although it shouldn't have any effect legally, it does seem a little disingenuous of Apple to argue to that another company should not be able to dominate a tablet-related market. Apple just scored a huge victory over Samsung in an iPad vs. Android patent lawsuit that could be the first step in letting Apple squeeze out tablet operating system competitors.