In the news today, the Department of Justice brought a suit today against Apple and publishing houses Penguin and Macmillan, alleging that they colluded to fix ebook prices. The DOJ has reached a preliminary settlement with three other publishers, Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster under these terms:
[s]ettling publishers will be immediately required to do the following:
- Terminate its current contracts with Apple within seven days of the court’s acceptance of the settlement;
- Terminate any other contracts with e-book retailers that restrict the retailer’s ability to set final prices for books or contain a “most favored nation” provision prohibiting price competition, as soon as possible;
- Renegotiate contracts with Apple and other retailers, with a two-year prohibition on any contract that prevents retailers from discounting retail prices (see below);
- Notify the Department of Justice before entering into any joint ventures between it and another publisher related to e-books;
- Designate an antitrust compliance officer and provide the DOJ with a copy of its agreements with any e-book retailers quarterly for five years.
So, in other words, big sales for Kindle ebooks, you think?