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What took so long? Agency pricing gets sued

Hard to believe it took this long for some enterprising lawyers to drum up a lawsuit challenging the legality of the major book publishers' "agency pricing" scheme for electronic books. Laura Hazard Owen at PaidContent has details and a link to the full lawsuit but I'm interested in reading some more informed legal analysis. Here's a brief excerpt:

As a result of the publishers switching to the agency model, the complaint says: “As a direct result of this anticompetitive conduct as intended by the conspiracy, the price of eBooks has soared.  The price of new bestselling eBooks increased to an average of $12 - $15—an increase of 33 to 50 percent. The price of an eBook in many cases now approaches—or even exceeds—the price of the same book in paper even though there are almost no incremental costs to produce each additional eBook unit. The price of the Publisher Defendants’ eBooks sold on the iBookstore, facing no pricing competition from Amazon or other e-distributors for the exact same eBook titles, has remained at supra-competitive levels.”

-PaidContent, August 9, 2011 (first spotted news via @jafurtado on Twitter)

Posted by Aaron Pressman

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