Was the DOJ out to lunch when they brought suit against Apple and five major publishing houses alleging price-fixing and collusion on setting eBook prices? After all, the major beneficiary of the suit is Amazon, a dominant force in book-selling which many hold responsible for destroying other book sellers. On the other hand, prices for eBooks did go up substantially when Apple introduced the agency pricing model, enticing publishers away from Amazon’s wholesale pricing model. Our authors take substantially differing viewpoints on the question; if this issue doesn’t help you make up your mind about the case, it will, at the least, leave you very well-informed.
A New Antitrust Battleground eBooks
While the innovations of Apple may reflect significant industry advances and offer considerable consumer benefits, still, the antitrust laws cannot be jettisoned to accomplish such goals. Jay L. Himes & Meegan Hollywood (Labaton Sucharow LLP)
The model Apple sought to apply in the eBook industry is the same iTunes model it has applied elsewhere without challenge under the antitrust laws. Anant Raut (Pepper Hamilton LLP)
So here’s my big question: Why does everybody seem to hate this case? Christopher Sagers (Cleveland State University)
Yet, a sophisticated, doctrinally focused antitrust lawyer would have no trouble attacking (1) the applicability of the per se rule and (2) the eBook product market. Steven Semeraro (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)
The case could raise and decide important issues relating to the interpretation of the new per se conspiracy offense under the Act. Steve Szentesi, Mark Katz (Davis Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP)