Apple dismisses US e-book price fixing claims as ‘not true’

13 Apr 2012

Technology giant Apple, which this week achieved a valuation of more than US$600bn, has dismissed allegations it behaved in monopolistic fashion to fix e-book prices with other leading publishers as untrue.

Earlier this week, Apple and other book publishers were accused by the US Department of Justice of conspiring to fix e-book prices and limit competition in the market.

In response, Apple has issued the following statement: “The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true.

“The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry.

“Since then, customers have benefited from e-books that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore,” Apple said in a statement.

The suit, filed by the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, alleges Apple and publishers such as HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Macmillan reached an agreement to cease retail price competition.

It alleges that as part of the agreement Apple would be guaranteed a commission of 30pc for every book sold.

Three of the publishers have already agreed to settle with the Justice department: Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Hachette Book Group.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years