Feeds

Penguin gives in to US Feds over ebooks

Publisher drops defiant stance, settles price-fixing case

Security for virtualized datacentres

Penguin has caved in to the US Justice Department, agreeing to a settlement over alleged price-setting of ebooks after holding out since April.

Three of five publishers that the Justice Department accused of conspiring with Apple over ebook pricing have already settled. Penguin's capitulation leaves just one publisher, MacMillan, and tech firm Apple as the remaining two defendants. The allegations levelled at the firms have to do with the agency model, which allowed the publishers to set the price of ebooks, from which the fruity firm took a 30 per cent cut.

While Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster settled up straight away, Apple, Penguin and MacMillan all said they would fight the allegations.

Penguin, owned by Pearson and about to merge with Bertelsmann's Random House - which is not a defendant - is still holding out in Europe, where Apple, MacMillan, HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster have all agreed to drop "most favoured nation" clauses from contracts with Apple and allow other retailers to discount ebooks.

The most favoured nation clause meant that the price offered to Apple was the lowest and publishers couldn't offer a lower price to other shops, keeping all ebooks at the same price. The Justice Department has alleged that the publishers also agreed with each other about what price books should be.

The change to using the agency model instead of the wholesale model, where retailers buy the books at a certain price and then sell them on at whatever price they like, is believed to have been a reaction to deep-discounting Amazon. The giant etailer had been selling ebooks at cost or below to push sales of its Kindle ereader and gain brand loyalty to dominate the growing market. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.