Settlement over e-Book Pricing to Undo Apple's Agency Model for Pricing?
Earlier this month, we reported on word from the U.S. Department of Justice that regulators were looking at filing suit against Apple and e-book publishers over the "agency model" of pricing championed by Apple leading up to the launch of its iBookstore. Under the model, retail book prices are set by publishers, with retailers receiving a cut of the proceeds.
Of most concern to regulators, Apple's agreements with the publishers included "most favored nation" clauses that prevented publishers from selling their books through any other retailers at lower prices than offered through Apple's iBookstore. Reuters now reports that the parties involved in the dispute are continuing to move toward a settlement in order to ward off a lawsuit, and that the settlement is likely to see the removal of these clauses. As a result, the publishing industry will likely in some form return to the previous wholesale model in which retailers set their own prices for books.
While negotiations are still fluid, the settlement is expected to eliminate Apple's so-called "most favored nation" status, which had prevented the publishers from selling lower-priced e-books through rival retailers such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) or Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS.N), the people said.
The deal could also force a shift, at least temporarily, in pricing control from publishers to retailers, one of the people said.
Such a move to a "wholesale model" would not only benefit consumers but also Amazon, which had been the leading bargain e-book retailer with its Kindle reader.
Under the wholesale model, Amazon priced e-books at or even below cost in many cases in order to draw in customers who would then purchase other items from its online store. But the practice generated concern among publishers that their works were being devalued, and many were happy to sign on with Apple's agency model in order to create more price stability.
Analysts estimate that a return to the wholesale model could add $1 billion to Amazon's revenues this year given its commanding 65% share of the e-book market and the impact of discounted pricing on sales of other items in its store. Book sales make up only a small portion of Apple's revenue, with estimates pegging iBookstore sales at roughly $50 million annually, and the company is expected to see little impact from any pricing changes in the book market.
Apple says iOS 16.4 is coming in the spring, which began this week. In his Sunday newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said the update should be released "in the next three weeks or so," meaning a public release is likely in late March or early April.
iOS 16.4 remains in beta testing and introduces a handful of new features and changes for the iPhone. Below, we have recapped five new features ...
Apple is tracking the attendance of its employees at offices using badge records in order to ensure they are coming in at least three times a week, according to Platformer's Zoë Schiffer.
Since April 2022, Apple employees have been operating on a hybrid home/office work policy as part of a gradual return strategy following the pandemic, with staff required to work from the office at least...
While the iPhone 15 series is still around six months away from launching, there have already been plenty of rumors about the devices. Many new features and changes have been rumored for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in particular.
Below, we have recapped 10 changes rumored for iPhone 15 Pro models that are not expected to be available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus:A1...
This year, all iPhone 15 models will include Apple's Dynamic Island that unifies the pill and hole cutouts at the top of the display, but there will also be a material change to the feature that wasn't included in the iPhone 14 Pro models.
According to a new tweet by Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the proximity sensor on the iPhone 15 series will be integrated inside the Dynamic Island ...
Nothing today announced the launch of its second-generation wireless earbuds, the Nothing Ear (2), which offer many of the same features as Apple's AirPods Pro 2 at a lower price point. We went hands-on with the Ear (2) earbuds to see whether they're a viable alternative to the AirPods Pro 2 for those who want to save some cash.
The Ear (2) earbuds are the successor to the Nothing Ear (1),...
The iOS 16.4 update that is set to be released to the public in the near future includes voice isolation for cellular calls, according to notes that Apple shared today.
Apple says that Voice Isolation will prioritize your voice and block out the ambient noise around you, making for clearer phone calls where you can better hear the person you're chatting with and vice versa.
Apple is no longer allowing customers who purchase an iPhone, cellular iPad, or Apple Watch to activate a device with now-defunct mobile carrier Sprint. Apple has also removed remaining references to Sprint from its online store.
When checking out with a new purchase, Sprint is no longer an option for connectivity, a change that Apple appears to have implemented today. Prior to now, Sprint...
The iOS 16.4 release candidate version that was provided to developers today appears to hint at a new set of AirPods that could be coming in the near future. According to @aaronp613, the beta features references to AirPods that have a model number of A3048 and an AirPods case with a model number of A2968.
There have been no rumors that new AirPods are on the horizon, and it is early for...
Top Rated Comments
Are you telling me you never comparison shop?!
Good for you! To a class of kids? Or perhaps to the blind or the elderly? Either way, I applaud your efforts to help keep literacy alive!
That's the one thing that's really put me off ebooks: why pay more than the PB book price when I can buy it at a used book store for less?