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Law firms claim collusion between Apple, e-book publishers

updated 08:10 pm EST, Tue December 20, 2011

Lawyers want to defend based on insider knowledge

Law firms have motioned this week to represent plaintiffs in class action suits accusing Apple of colluding with publishers. Grant & Eisenhofer claimed to have an insider that revealed "detailed knowledge" in March that gave it reason to pursue the case. A matching filing from another firm also pointed to a source, possibly the same one, that attended an "in-person meeting" with a "very knowledgeable and important confidential source" that was aware of dealings.

The accuracy of the sources isn't confirmed, but if real could potentially condemn Apple, major publishers, and possibly retailers like Amazon. Publicly, the only talk of the alleged price fixing has centered on rumors of an Apple price war with Amazon in the run-up to the iPad launch, where Apple supposedly let publishers have more control over pricing to lure publishers who were hesitant to go beyond Amazon.

Under the accusations, Apple's decision to use this model was combined with "most favored nation" pricing, where other stores outside of the iBookstore weren't allowed to undercut Apple's figures. Publishers then used this term to allegedly strongarm Amazon with the threat that they would pull their books from the Kindle store without a price hike.

Amazon itself hasn't been considered entirely fair to publishers and is known to have sold e-books at a loss to build market share. Apple's move may have created a reverse situation where publishers could pad margins and keep prices high. [via paidContent]

by MacNN Staff



  1. adavidw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not "have motioned"

    Should read "Law firms have moved this week". In a legal context, you "move", not "motion". You could say that someone had "made a motion", but that's not really correct, either. You definitely would never say "have motioned".

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Amazon itself hasn't been considered entirely fair to publishers and is known to have sold e-books at a loss to build market share.

    Selling at a loss is not unfair to publishers, as it is Amazon who eats the loss, not the publisher.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Of course, no one could actually explain Apple's stance that publishers of music should have no say on the pricing, 99 cents is the perfect price point, but then with books, Amazon's 'perfect price point' is completely unfair and publishers should be given the right to set their own prices!

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