A victory for e-book buyers

A victory for e-book buyers

September 10, 2012
Originally published in The Denver Post

From The Denver Post:

The settlement orders the publishers to end their contracts with Apple and allow retailers to set their own prices for e-books instead of having the publishers stipulate the prices in advance.

Presumably, this action should result in price reductions on many digital books. And that's obviously good news for e-book buyers.

We say this even though we recognize that an impressive number of serious critics have stepped forward in recent months — everyone from The New York Times' David Carr to the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Wayne Crews — to take issue with the government's decisi0n to go after the publishers and Apple in the first place.

Those critics have made a variety of arguments. However, the main one seems to be that at one point prior to the publishers' deal with Apple, Amazon controlled 90 percent of the e-book market and might regain a similar monopoly by selling digital books at a loss to strengthen its Kindle platform. In the long run, they argue, this would not be good for consumers, authors or publishers.