Court documents reveal Steve Jobs email pushing e-book agency model; 17 more states join class action suit

“New York, the District of Columbia and fifteen other states have joined the e-book pricing class action suit against Apple, Macmillan and Penguin, bringing the total number of states involved so far to 31 (if you include DC and Puerto Rico),” Laura Hazard Owen reports for paidContent. “The amended complaint, released Friday, reveals details that were previously redacted, including an e-mail from Steve Jobs.”

Owen reports, “In late January 2010, Steve Jobs became directly involved in the agency pricing negotiations ‘after Eddy Cue could not secure one of the Conspiring Publisher’s commitment directly from an executive.’ Jobs ‘wrote to an executive at the parent company, in part:'”

As I see it, [Conspiring Publisher] has the following choices:

1. Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream ebooks market at $12.99 and $14.99.

2. Keep going with Amazon at $9.99. You will make a bit more money in the short term, but in the medium term Amazon will tell you they will be paying you 70% of $9.99. They have shareholders too.

3. Hold back your books from Amazon. Without a way for customers to buy your ebooks, they will steal them. This will be the start of piracy and once started, there will be no stopping it. Trust me, I’ve seen this happen with my own eyes.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see any other alternatives. Do you?

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is one of the stupidest lawsuits ever.

Related articles:
Apple vs. Amazon: Who’s really fixing eBook prices? – April 17, 2012
Apple: U.S. DOJ’s accusation of collusion against iBookstore is simply not true – April 12, 2012
Apple not likely to be a loser in legal fight over eBooks – April 12, 2012
16 U.S. states join DOJ’s eBook antitrust action against Apple, publishers – April 12, 2012
Australian gov’t considers suing Apple, five major publishers over eBook pricing – April 12, 2012
DOJ’s panties in a bunch over Apple and eBooks, but what about Amazon? – April 12, 2012
Antitrust experts: Apple likely to beat U.S. DOJ, win its eBook lawsuit – April 12, 2012
Why the market shrugged off the Apple antitrust suit – April 11, 2012
What’s wrong with the U.S. DOJ? – April 11, 2012
Macmillan CEO blasts U.S. DOJ; gov’t on verge of killing real competition for appearance of competition – April 11, 2012
U.S. DOJ hits Apple,major publishers with antitrust lawsuit, alleges collusion on eBook prices – April 11, 2012
U.S. DOJ may sue Apple over ebook price-fixing as early as today, sources say – April 11, 2012


  1. Some of those states hardly have a literacy rate to justify having books of any sort. It must be an effort to drive more authors out of the business by making sure that they can never make a living by writing.

  2. 17 more GREEDY States that can’t make it on their own, so they go for the easy money grab. How sad. I know they can’t but only can wish Apple could CHOKE OFF the sales tax they generate for those states thru the Apple Stores. (MacMall style) What a bunch of ingrates.

  3. To me it looks like the meaning of the email is being taken out of context.
    Only the first part is being looked at and everyone is concluding price fixing was going on.

    SJ was outlining the options that the publishers had at the time and trying to convince them the agency model was the best way to go.

    1. Try to make a go at the agency model at say 12.99 – 14.99 a book.

    2. Continue to hand all the power to Amazon, which they would regret later.

    3. Cut Amazon off and surrender to piracy.

    I know what option sounds the best to me.

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