E-Book Drama: Did Amazon Muddle Evidence Against Apple?
The controversy started around the time when Apple introduced its iPad and opened an e-bookstore. Shortly thereafter, according to The New York Times, Amazon changed the way it sold digital titles to a model called “agency pricing”: one that allows publishers, not the retailer (in this case, Amazon) to set the price of the books.
The case the U.S. Department of Justice is trying to make states that publishers were unhappy with Amazon’s uniform price of $9.99 for e-books, because they wanted to raise the price on new releases and bestsellers. The Justice Department believes Apple conspired with five big publishing companies by opening up an e-bookstore to force Amazon to switch to agency pricing, thus allowing publishing companies to price bestsellers at, say, $20 instead of the typical $9.99.