Is the Department of Justice lawsuit fair?
Despite accusations of collusion, Apple continues to assert the opinion that they have done nothing wrong, as do the publishers who have refused to settle. Representatives from these companies have stated that there was no collusion to raise e-book prices or reduce competition within the industry.
Apple’s attorney released a forceful statement claiming their innocence and criticizing the controversial lawsuit:
“Apple has never participated in, encouraged, or sought to benefit from collusion. It has no objection to the Proposed Judgment’s bar on collusion. But the Government proposes to go much further. It seeks to terminate and rewrite Apple’s bargained-for contracts” (artstechnica.com).
The retail models that are good for publishers are also good for authors (who rely on their support and development), and therefore, obviously good for readers who want access to quality authors’ books.
Who will benefit?
Who will benefit from the DOJ settlement?
The wholesale model of selling e-books, which the DOJ favors, allows Amazon to price e-books as low as they want –which, since they are known for selling e-books at a loss to drive sales of more expensive items (like Kindles) — means that their pricing is beyond competitive. It blows everyone else out of the water. Which is good for consumers in the short run, because they pay less for e-books, but bad in the long run because it eliminates competitive retailers and puts financial strain on publishers.
In the end, it will be us (the readers) who make the choice about who wins this battle. Will you support the publishers who bring you the books you love to read? Or would you prefer to pay less for e-books in a potentially less competitive, less rich reading environment? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo credit: Cristian Eslava
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