EU to force ebook price drop?
Looks like there'll be loads of cheap ebooks knocking around very soon as Apple and book publishers appear to be buckling under EU pressure. The European Commissioner for Competition, Joaquin Almunia, said that Apple and four publishers are coming round to the idea of selling ebooks more cheaply to avoid an expensive anti-trust investigation.
It looks like there's going to be a two-year ban on using the agency pricing model (this model pushes the price of ebooks up because retailers can't sell them at a lower price than Apple).
The price of ebooks seem to be fixed thanks to an agreement between Apple and publishers, Harper Collins, Penguin, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Hachette Livre, which has seen investigations in the US, UK and Europe.
Alumnia said: "In the context of its antitrust investigation into the distribution of e-books, the European Commission has received proposals of possible commitments from Apple and four international publishers, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Hachette Livre and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck (the owner of Macmillans).
"In parallel, three of these publishers - Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins and Hachette - have reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice."
"We are currently engaged in fruitful discussions with them, without prejudice to the outcome of these talks. We will assess any final proposals of commitments and we will test them with third parties in order to check whether they are sufficient to preserve competition for the benefit of consumers in this fast-growing market."
In other words: CHEAP BOOKS!