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.

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“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

editorial@siliconrepublic.com