Wednesday, February 02, 2011

U.K. Begins E-Book Pricing Probe - WSJ.com

We haven’t yet read the final chapter on the Apple-assisted agency pricing model

The investigation comes after months of haggling between book publishers and online retailers over pricing for electronic books, sparked by the rise of devices such as Apple Inc.'s iPad and Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle. Book publishers, having watched music companies falter as Internet distribution cannibalized in-store sales, have moved quickly to protect their business.

That in part has led to the "agency pricing" model, the same system that has come under antitrust scrutiny by attorneys general in Connecticut and Texas.

An interesting twist, later in the article:

Unlike other European countries, many of which prevent retailers from selling books at discounted rates under laws meant to protect independent booksellers, the U.K. generally does not regulate the retail prices for books. That makes the British book market similar to that of the U.S.

U.K. Begins E-Book Pricing Probe - WSJ.com

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