Tech giant Apple has come under fire again, this time the heat is coming from the U.S. Justice department! The U.S. has accused Apple, and five publishers of banding together to keep e-book prices high.
Pretty much the pricing of e-book’s since Apple became involved has been sky high. An e-book should never cost more than five or ten dollars, and people who argue that “the value of the book” or “the value of the author” justifies these high costs which in many cases are more expensive than the actual paperback, are just plain delusional. The consumer is not paying for binding, shipping, packaging these are digital! And somehow Apple’s iBooks service manages to get away with charging almost double of what Amazon offers (which normally run at $9.99USD). Before the “iBooks” service was launched, Apple CEO Steve Jobs went to the major publishers he offered them a new model, the “agency” model which meant publishers could set their own selling prices and take 70% of the profits and Apple taking the other 30%. It was this new model that enticed the major publishers due to the fact that their previous way of doing this type of business was working under the “wholesale” model,in which an e-book seller such as Amazon pays roughly half the recommended cover price, and then sets its own pricing.
Justifiably the agency model became more popular after Apple entered the e-book business and they also reportedly stipulated that publishers who used the agency model couldn’t sell their books for cheaper elsewhere. What us the consumers will most likely get out of all of this is cheaper prices for our e-books after the justice department lays down some hefty fines on Apple and the book publishers. Cheaper e-book’s hurray!!!! No one likes paying higher prices for something if they dont have to and this will keep the playing field competitive between companies to further prevent another “iTunes” which has a firm grasp on the music industry.