Justice Dept. Sues Apple and Publishers Over Ebook Pricing, Violation of Antitrust Laws
From my end of things, I have to say that this controversial lawsuit is defending consumers from a very real trend that is designed to make consumers pay ridiculous prices for a product that costs almost nothing to make. Apple and a whole cadre of publishers conspired to charge utterly appalling prices - in many cases the price of a hardback edition or more - for their e-books in an attempt to force Amazon to abandon their lower pricing so Apple had a better chance to dominate the book-selling market. The end result is that the publishers make record profits for a virtually free product while consumers, libraries, and universities get screwed over.
Publishers have always been unkind to libraries (They naturally oppose something that provides their wares as a free service to tax-paying citizens.), charging sinful fees for universities and libraries to subscribe to necessary periodicals while not paying the professors and librarians who contributed to those publications nearly enough to justify the price of the journals. Now libraries who have joined online consortia to share and lend out e-books are being forced to pay for those overly priced files again and again to keep them in circulation. It’s a disturbing trend that is damaging our nation’s educational system in unpardonable ways, and at a time when libraries and schools simply can’t afford to lose ridiculous amounts of money to greedy corporations.