Apple Ebook Price Fixing Trial Scheduled for June 3rd, 2013


A while ago, the US Justice Department had sued Apple and publishers over ebook pricing. That decision was made after a year long investigation into Apple and the publishers. Today, The Verge reports that that the US Justice Department has scheduled a trial date for June 3rd, 2013. District Judge Denise Cote chose the date and made it official at the conclusion of a hearing in New York City on Friday. This will give the both parties plenty of time to justify their case in the antitrust suite, which accuses Apple and five publishers of agreeing to raise ebook prices by switching to a debatable agency model in 2010.

Apple’s so called “agency model” allows publishers to set e-book pricing under  a “most favored nations” clause that disallows them to sell the content to other resellers at a cheaper price. This agency model is found favorable among publishers that have been hurt by the quick adoption of inexpensive e-books.

Currently, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins Publishers, and Hachette Book Group have already reached settlements with the government. This leaves Macmillan and Penguin Group to settle the charges alongside Apple. However, there is always a possibility that a settlement among both parties may happen sooner before the trial next year.


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