Only Apple Left in eBook Price Fixing Scheme as Macmillan Settles with DOJ

bp9801 - February 8, 2013 12:57PM in General News

Last October, Amazon Kindle owners received some good news in that some companies would be issuing refunds for price-adjusted eBooks. Several publishers and Apple were involved in an alleged price fixing scheme to try and combat Amazon's dominance, but last October three publishers settled. Penguin Books settled in December, which left just Macmillan and Apple as the final two. Now, however, it's just Apple as Macmillan has reached a settlement agreement with the DOJ. As part of the agreement, Macmillan is prohibited from entering into any new discounting agreements on eBooks, and report to the DOJ on any eBook opportunities and communcation with its rivals. The DOJ expects many Macmillan titles to drop in price, though no word was made on whether it or Penguin would issue refunds like HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette.

Macmillan's CEO, John Sargent, is not too happy about the settlement, as he believes it's harmful to the entire industry and his company will have a "pricing disadvantage for two years." He also states his company did nothing wrong with the pricing, even if the DOJ and others disagree. As for Apple, well, there's a court date coming up this June to try and settle with the last holdout.

Source: Ars Technica