SAN FRANCISCO: Five book publishers and computer manufacturer Apple have been sued for allegedly colluding to drive up the price of e-books, lawyers for the plaintiffs said. The class-action suit, filed in the US District Court, claims HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon and Schuster had worked with Apple to break internet retailer Amazon’s discount pricing strategy and help Apple’s iPad compete with the Kindle marketed by Amazon. According to the suit, the publishers believed that Amazon’s popular Kindle e-reader device and the company’s discounted pricing for e-books would increase the adoption of e-books, and feared Amazon’s discounted pricing structure will permanently set consumer expectations for lower prices, even for other e-reader devices. According to the lawsuit, Apple and publishers were concerned that Amazon’s $9.99 uniform pricing for bestsellers would create market pressures for other e-booksellers, including Apple, to do the same, cutting into profitability.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2011.
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