The eBook pricing war rages on, with such heavy-hitters as the Department of Justice, Amazon, Apple, and the majority of major publishers continuing to tussle over the price of eBooks.
To recap: Amazon has been selling eBooks at a loss for some time, in order to increase sales of their Kindle e-reader. Apple, looking to take some of the eBook business away from Amazon, then offered a higher pricing model to the major publishers, one which would keep them in business through the change of book formats. The Department of Justice, urged on by Amazon, filed suit against the major publishers claiming that they worked together to fix prices artificially high. The DOJ charged that this collusion is a breach of Federal Antitrust laws. After the suit was filed, a handful of publishers settled. Still, this is far from over.
The Consumer Federation of America, an association of nearly 300 nonprofit consumer groups, released a statement claiming that, “Books are being devalued, literature is not.”
By restoring competitive pricing to the market (a race to the bottom for eBook prices) the consumer obviously wins. But at what cost? Surely the major publishers cannot continue peddling a product they can’t make a profit off of.