Friday, 9 March 2012

Apples and Barnes & Noble collude to keep high prices on Ebooks

I am probably not the only one in Africa that resorts to Ebooks when I want the latest book or a book that is not widely available (read not on the top 100 bestseller list)

Knowing that there is no printing cost or distribution cost for Ebooks I have always wondered why they are still so expensive. Now here is why:

According to WSJ

"The Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books, according to people familiar with the matter.

Several of the parties have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a potentially damaging court battle, these people said. If successful, such a settlement could have wide-ranging repercussions for the industry, potentially leading to cheaper e-books for consumers."
Ebooks are the fastest growing business for publishers at a time when the sale of physical books is in decline. E-book sales more than doubled to $970 million in 2011, according to a survey of 77 publishers conducted by the Association of American Publishers. As more consumers migrate to dedicated e-readers and tablet reading devices, the number of consumers reading digitally will likely increase.

Apparantly these guys have not learned the lesson from the music industry. I am not a big fan of piracy but if the big players are committing crimes to have excessive profits then it might be tme that we start sharing books for free.

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