Apple conspired to keep e-book prices artifically high as libraries die
BOOKS are not just objects to buy and trade. The BBC reports on a ruling that Apple “conspired with publishers to fix the price of electronic books”.
And those are the electronic books that thanks to convoluted copyright rules you are not permitted to pass on to friends, as you can with an actual paper book.
Manhattan Judge Denise Cote said Apple “conspired to restrain trade”.
Apple’s Tom Neumayr says the ruling is wrong and the “false allegations” will be contested. They don’t want to pay damages.
But five publishers named as defendants alongside Apple in price fixing have coughed up.
Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan have all paid tens of millions of dollars in fines for cheating the consumer.
Judge Cote stated:
“The plaintiffs have shown that the publisher defendants conspired with each other to eliminate retail price competition in order to raise e-book prices, and that Apple played a central role in facilitating and executing that conspiracy.
“Without Apple’s orchestration of this conspiracy, it would not have succeeded as it did in the spring of 2010.”
Greedy sods, of course. But some good can come out of it. The fines should be used to pay for libraries, where books can be hired for free. If you can find a library still open, that is….