Random Musings: The verdict on e-book price fixing

EBook realOne of the big stories in today’s news involves an issue that I have been loosely following for some time: a possible conspiracy by the big publishers to drive e-book prices above Amazon’s desired selling point of $9.99. All of the publishers involved have already reached settlements, but Apple—the alleged instigator of the affair—insisted on bringing the suit to trial. Today, a US judge has ruled against Apple in the matter (Apple is, of course, appealing). Here are some quick links from around the world:The New York Times, Reuters, The Guardian, BBC and CBC.

Yet despite all of these settlements and the ongoing lawsuits, I have yet to see any evidence of practical change. Perhaps that is because I live in Canada, and all of the current legal wrangling is happening down in the States. Or maybe it’s because everything is moving at the glacial pace typically in evidence when large corporations are forced to admit to wrongdoing. In any event, it’s still cheaper for me to pick up a hardcover of the latest bestseller from my local retailer than it is for me to buy the e-book. That’s just plain wrong, but with this latest verdict I’m at least mildly optimistic that we could see a corrective effect in the next few years. Fingers crossed…