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Ebook pricing in court

THE US Department of Justice case against Apple for fixing the prices of ebooks opene on Monday 3 June.

All five of the book publishers cited - Hachette, Harper Collins, Penguin, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan - settled before the hearing. On Wednesday Russell Grandinetti of Amazon.com gave evidence that the five discriminated against his company because it was setting prices of electronic books too low.

Before Apple entered the market, Amazon set prices - at up to $9.99. After, they moved to an "agency model" in which the publisher set the retail price (up to a set maximum) and Amazon took a 30 per cent cut - the same model that Apple had launched. Grandinetti said this move was because Amazon feared being forbidden to sell ebooks at all.

On the other hand, many have been concerned about Amazon's dominant position in the ebook market.

Apple's opening gambit was to seek to exclude a digital mountain of email evidence, arguing that messages could only be introduced where relevant people were available to be cross-examined about them. Founder Steve Jobs died in 2011.

The case continues.

Last modified: 06 Jun 2013 - © 2013 contributors
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