Apple has responded to the US Department of Justice’s antitrust charges filed against it and book publishers accused of price-fixing. According to the lawsuit: “Millions of ebooks that would have sold at retail for US$9.99 or for other low prices instead sold for the prices indicated by the price schedules included in the Apple Agency Agreements – generally, US$12.99 or US$14.99.”
As predicted, Apple is resting its case on the idea that using the agency model is more competitive than Amazon’s model where prices are set by Amazon and books are sold below cost.
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told AllThingsD: “The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.
Penguin Group and MacMillan have made a similar response.