DoJ Finally Goes After Publishing Price-Fixing Cartel

U.S. Warns Apple, Publishers
Justice Department Threatens Lawsuits, Alleging Collusion Over E-Book Pricing

The Justice Department believes that Apple and the publishers acted in concert to raise prices across the industry, and is prepared to sue them for violating federal antitrust laws, the people familiar with the matter said.

The publishers have denied acting jointly to raise prices. They have told investigators that the shift to agency pricing enhanced competition in the industry by allowing more electronic booksellers to thrive.

What absolute bullshit.

An inefficient industry that cannot adapt to a changing marketplace and that does its best to hamper change, loot consumer pocketbooks, and artificially prop up its profits is not an industry that deserves to survive in the 21st century.

Book people love to think they are “special.” That filthy commerce does not apply to them.

Yet this same holier-than-everyone industry smiles on James Patterson and Tom Clancy and others producing what is basically “factory fiction” — ghost writers producing to an outline without proper compensation or ownership rights — which really is indistinguishable from factory-produced widgets. If they could hire Chinese ghost writers — as tech firms hire Chinese factory laborers — for a penny a page, they would.

The only “art” the modern publishing industry knows is the art of self-delusion.

Like newspapers, they have chosen to delay their day of reckoning.

It’s time for that day to arrive.

The DoJ should rule that everyone who had to overpay for an eBook is entitled to a rebate for the illegal price-fixed cartel-gouging profits.

When the Department of Justice is done with this, let them look at Apple’s own restraint of trade in eBooks too.

Previously in various blogs:

1915: How Price Fixing Really Works
Apple’s Seeds Growing Fruits Of Revenge
Apple’s eBook Restraint Of Trade Begins
Apple’s Scheme To Thwart The American Feds And EU With iBooks
Tell Publishers Why You Didn’t Buy A Book
Price-Fixing Agency Model Titanic Hits Iceberg
Print Publishing: You’re NOT OPEC!
Print Publishing’s Suicidal Price-Fixing
Wake Up: eBooks Are Mass-Market Paperbacks
Pricing: The Final Frontier
Two Memos To Book Publishing
Is There An eBook Price Rebate In Your Future?

1 Comment

Filed under Books: General, Digital Overthrow

One response to “DoJ Finally Goes After Publishing Price-Fixing Cartel

  1. ClockworkZombie

    Yes, what great news. The cartel certainly hampered my own book purchasing. I used to buy a lot of books from Fictionwise and after the cartel most of the books I was interested in disappeared. I had 40ish books in my wanted list. 3 were left and I cannot yet buy the others as they are still unavailable in Australia. It is crazy. I have money I want to buy and I cannot unless I want paper copies and I prefer ebooks now.

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