Thank Steve Jobs for this mess. I hope the Justice Department sues the companies if they don’t lower prices on e-books. The prices are outrageous and it was all done to undercut Amazon. No way am I paying $15.99 for an e-book that cost probably pennies or less to produce. I have no problem with authors and publishers making a reasonable profit but the profit margin on e-books is much greater than those in print and I’m not willing to pay as much for an e-book as a printed book.
By THOMAS CATAN And JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG
The Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books, according to people familiar with the matter.
Several of the parties have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a potentially damaging court battle, these people said. If successful, such a settlement could have wide-ranging repercussions for the industry, potentially leading to cheaper e-books for consumers. However, not every publisher is in settlement discussions.
The five publishers facing a potential suit are CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster Inc.; Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group; Pearson PLC’s Penguin Group (USA); Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH; and HarperCollins Publishers Inc., a unit of News Corp. , which also owns The Wall Street Journal.