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Apple denies DoJ accusations, says eBook publishers were fixing prices before iBooks

Published May 15th, 2013 5:45PM EDT
Apple eBook Price-fixing Denial

The United States Justice Department recently filed documents in its case against Apple and book publishers accusing Apple of helping to facilitate the collusion that led to alleged fixing of eBook prices. Apple has denied the DoJ’s allegations in a new response, however, claiming that book publishers had already colluded to fix eBook prices before Apple even launched its iBook product.

According to Reuters, Apple argued in a court filing that publishers conspired to “eliminate discounts on wholesale book prices of e-books” and to “sell lucrative hardcover books first to bookstores” before Apple’s iBookstore even launched.

“Early — and constant — points of negotiation and contention were over Apple’s price caps and 30 percent commission,” Apple said in its filing. “After Apple sent draft agency agreements to each publisher CEO on January 11, each immediately opposed Apple’s price tiers and caps.”

The eBook price-fixing trial is set to begin on June 3rd with Apple as the sole defendant; Pearson, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster have all settled with the Justice Department out of court.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.