Government Lawsuit Makes E-Books Cheaper

The Department of Justice told Apple and publishers to stop fixing prices. One publisher’s prices have already dropped significantly.

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Good news for e-book readers…

A few months ago, the Department of Justice sued Apple and a few major publishers: Simon and Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins. The suit claimed they were fixing prices (of which Apple takes a 30 percent cut) to guarantee profits. Apple would only allow them to sell books in its store if they had the lowest price, so publishers would just list books at the same higher price everywhere else.

They defended by saying they were just fighting Amazon’s foothold on the market. The judge didn’t buy it, and a week ago ruled the publishers had to tear up their Apple contracts (among others) and start over. Make new ones. Price things independently. Allow competition.

A week later, PaidContent writes this is already having an effect on e-book prices from at least HarperCollins. Checking prices on select titles, they found retailers have often lowered prices by anywhere from 25 to 70 percent – including some new books published just this month. Here’s a list of books they checked, but go check on titles you’re interested in, too.

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