September 15, 2012
A Few More Developments In The e-Book Market
It turns out that the settlement in the Apple e-book case has caused a reversion to the wholesale model and that Apple is competing with Amazon on price according to these articles (here and here) in paidContent. I suppose there is a difference between what Apple would like to do and what Apple can do. I suppose I could say to the Justice Department that consumers pay a little less, the retailer does not make as much money, but that’s what you want anyway. HarperCollins has reacted to the reversion by raising the list price on some new items by $3 to $5 according to one of the stories. Competition will sort out whether those pricing decisions are correct.
Speaking of which, check out this story by Gary Price on InfoDocket on how Hachette is raising prices for e-books purchased by libraries at an average of 220%. The new pricing kicks in on October 1. The increase affects 3,500 titles with release dates before April 2010. Gary has another piece reflecting the (negative) views of the American Library Association on the move.
And finally, the settlement in the companion case brought by the states, the one where consumers will actually collect money (between $0.25 and $1.32) was preliminarily approved on Friday. A fairness hearing will take place on February 8th. Judge Cote, as it turns out, is an e-book customer, though no story I’ve read tells me where she buys her content. She has exempted herself from receiving any refunds that may be forthcoming under the settlement terms. [MG]