Amazon and Big Five Publishers Sued for eBook Price Fixing

PublishersWeekly reports that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Amazon for eBook price fixing and names the big five publishers—HarperCollins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin Random House as co-Conspirators.

The action is long overdue. Just one look at Amazon’s pricing of eBooks higher than their paper/hardcover equivalents is all the clue you need. Also, it’s the same big five publishers that colluded with Apple in 2011 for (you guessed it) price fixing. At that time, the publishers settled the claims for $188-million, and Apple lost at trial so had to reimburse its customers for $400-million.

Rationale:

The publishers over-price eBooks to force people to purchase paper/hard cover versions. (And support their out-dated business model.)

Price fixing is a win-win for Amazon. They get more money from their percentage of the inflated-eBook purchase price, and the high eBook prices nudge people toward Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited “all you can read” eBook subscription service.

 

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Posted on January 15th, 2021
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