U.S. reaches e-books settlement with Penguin

“The Justice Department said on Tuesday it has reached a settlement with Pearson Plc’s Penguin Group in the government’s investigation of alleged price-setting in the e-book market,” David Ingram and Diane Bartz report for Reuters. “Apple is accused of convincing the five publishers to use the “agency model,” that allows publishers to set the price of e-books, and in turn Apple would take a 30 percent cut. Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster opted to settle with the Justice Department in April but Apple, Penguin and MacMillan said they would fight the allegations.”

Ingram and Bartz report, “Many people in the book publishing and selling industry accuse Amazon of deeply discounting books to sell them below cost in order to drive other e-book sellers out of business, and then raise prices. Under the terms of the settlement announced on Tuesday, Penguin will drop any agreements with Apple and other ebook sellers that prevents price discounting. It will not be allowed to reinstate the deals for two years.”

“The settlement terms were similar to ones that the Justice Department reached with the other three publishers in April,” Ingram and Bartz report. “The impetus for the settlement could well be a joint venture of Penguin and Random House announced in October by Penguin owner Pearson’s and Random House owner Bertelsmann.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The U.S. DOJ is plainly inept.

Killing real competition for the appearance of competition is just plain stupid.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rainy Day” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple’s U.S. e-books antitrust case set for 2013 trial – June 24, 2012
U.S. government complains, claims Apple trying to rush e-books antitrust case – June 21, 2012
Barnes & Noble blasts U.S. DOJ e-book settlement proposal – June 7, 2012
Apple: U.S. government’s e-book antitrust lawsuit ‘is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law’ – May 24, 2012
Federal Judge rejects Apple and publishers’ attempt to dismiss civil case alleging e-book price-fixing – May 15, 2012
Court documents reveal Steve Jobs email pushing e-book agency model; 17 more states join class action suit – May 15, 2012
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. So the DOJs’ deal is for all of the publishers to forget they ever knew Apple?

    Meanwhile Amazon continues unabated.

    Random House will suffer a broken neck with its head up Penguin’s ass when a polar bear wipes his ass with the penguin!

  2. Who cares? It’s the government. My 27 inch iMac showed up Monday (17th) morning! Printer and optical drive too. Merry Christmas to me. I was given a delivery of Dec 21-28. I did order Nov. 30 at 12:00 am and was finished by 12: 05. So I was as early as you could get. But to show up this early is very nice. Now I am waiting to refresh my Mac Pros if Apple ever finds time to roll them out. The iMac is nice but I need to refresh my Mac Pros. Apple get movin!

    1. Good for you. Meanwhile, some of us can’t move forward so easily, distracted by teh shiny. Some of us, foolishly perhaps, take the ethical stand against all that is unjust. Toys and incentives hardly ever change our stance. Many of us view that the US DOJ may have been compromised/corrupted by incentives/political donations from an Apple competitor. Even if Apple is forced to settle this at some point in the future, justice will not be served in this manner. That is unacceptable, and, FWIW, I’m not even an American.

      1. Oh goodness, I make my living with Macs. So even know the iMac is not vital for me I am happy to get it nonetheless. As I said I’m waiting for the new Mac Pros. As for your comments about being easily “distracted by teh shiny”? Who gives a fuck what you think? You pompous arrogant prick. Spell much? “Most of us”. Learn to speak for yourself and not hide behind others. “Toys”? As I said before dumb fuck, I make my living with Apple computers. So I’m hardly some goofball posting on an Apple fanboy site. And I am an America. In beautiful sunny southern California. So you certainly don’t speak for us. So you take care of your life and your country. Fuck you very much.

  3. Being an American myself, I do feel somewhat shameful about how our own government is treating our own very successful companies like Apple. It’s almost like US government does not want it’s own companies and citizens be successful.

    my 2 cents…

    1. I’m calling this The Corporate Oligarchy Warz.

      There are loads of biznizziz that loathe Apple’s superior business model and success. They want Apple dead such that bad biznizz methods and corporate imposed neo-feudalism rule the world. Frack them all.

      Our US Government? For sale and puppet manipulation by the highest bidder. AKA dysfunctional catastrophe.

  4. This is what the dimwitted DOJ is advocating:

    Many people in the book publishing and selling industry accuse Amazon of deeply discounting books to sell them below cost in order to drive other e-book sellers out of business, and then raise prices.

    AKA: Monopolist bad biznizz by Amazon.

    WAKE UP DOJ. You’re on the WRONG SIDE. You’re being stupid.

  5. 2012: With DoJ assistance, Amazon allowed to gash publishers by loss-leading the price of ebooks.
    2014: First major publisher files for bankruptcy protection.
    2016: All ebooks are self-published, teen lit Twilight knock-offs.

  6. How delusional are all of u? Apple price fixed yet you make excuses for them. Just because Amazon might undersell competitors doesn’t mean price fixing should be legal. Amazon undersells in many other markets too.

    My business has an ebookstore and breaking these publishers away from locked in deals with Apple is really good for us because publishers are more free to sell in whatever sales channels at a price they want. We’re getting more and better content and improved business. And we’re Amazon’s competition. But we’re also Apple’s competition. It’s overall better for consumers and publishers.

    Get with it and stop the delusions.

      1. You are incredulous. All of the parties, including Apple, have settled/made major concessions with either the DOJ or the European Commission because they have been found to be guilty as charged. And the facts of the case show full stop that it was price fixing with the intent of making it so other resellers couldn’t undersell Apple.

        It’s over and they all lost and are guilty. Apple specifically has been forced by the European Commission to modify their publisher agreement to break the price fixing.

        “…the European Commission announced last week that it had reached an agreement with Apple and four publishers to modify their existing agreements and allow other retailers to discount their e-books for two years.”

        We have had to live through this for a couple of years dealing with Apple’s price lock in with other publishers and it’s sucked for the whole industry but Apple.

        Wake up.

        1. No one’s asleep. But you’re a drama queen, and quite emotional aren’t you?

          Go and Google Apple guilty of ebook price fixing and there isn’t a single news story about it. Nothing sdfg!

          There is plenty of news about publishers settling but Apple continues to fight.

          Blame Apple for your troubles, but don’t come in here whining cause your pussy hurts. Maroon.

        2. My sense is, you think Apple is to blame for your problems. I’m incredulous? You state all the parties, including Apple have settled and that’s simply not true. Keep praying.

          Everyone agrees, removing the “Most Favored Nation” clause — where the publishers won’t sell for less than they sell to Apple — is the better practice. I also agree that the clause is anti-competitive in hindsight, but the publishers were desperate to deal with any online retailer other than Amazon.

          I can see why no one’s contacted you though.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.