Thursday Midday Links: Agency pricing in the government crosshairs
In March 2011, EU raided publishers’ offices looking for evidence of price fixing. Despite this, the agency model began to roll out this summer and now EU has officially opened an investigation into price fixing.
“The Commission will in particular investigate whether these publishing groups and Apple have engaged in illegal agreements or practices that would have the object or the effect of restricting competition in the European Union or in the European Economic Area,” the EU executive said in a statement.
Probably because of what Steve Jobs said at the original iPad launch. The Wall Street Journal received confirmation that the DoJ is also investigating the agreement between the top publishers and Apple.
At a congressional hearing, Sharis Pozen, the Justice Department’s acting antitrust chief, said: “We are also investigating the electronic book industry, along with the European Commission and the states attorneys general.”
We’ve got two class action lawsuits, investigations from the EU, DOJ, and states attorneys general. Either the publishers are right or they are really, really wrong and it will present an expensive mistake.
What is a day without Amazon news. They announced the acquisition of a big children’s publisher.
In an aggressive expansion into children’s publishing, Amazon has acquired over 450 children’s titles originally published by Marshall Cavendish. The deal will bring a children’s category into the fold at Amazon Publishing, where, up until now, genre units, in categories like mystery and romance, have been built exclusively around adult titles. Margery Cuyler, current publisher of Marshall Children’s Books, said she will remain in her position and that her staff “remains intact.”
Then it launched an app that will offer you $5.00 to scan an item in a store and then buy it from Amazon. This makes booksellers unhappy but as Paid Content points out, it isn’t the only price scanner app available either from Amazon or others. It may be the first to offer an extra monetary incentive to use the app.
Overstock will be selling ebooks sourced by Barnes & Noble.
I’m not sure why people would buy ebooks from Overstock and not BN.com but I suppose it gives BN a broader audience? Honestly, this move puzzles me. Apparently it is just an affiliate situation where Overstock links directly to BN so essentially Overstock features a certain number of books and then directs people to BN.com.
Australian authors now have Dymocks self publishing offering.
Australia’s largest bookselling chain has launched a service to enable writers to to create, print, publish and commercially distribute their books and eBooks with Dymocks. Their web-based service allows anyone to become a published author with their books available on Dymocks.com.au and through Google ebooks.