EDITORIAL: Don’t Throw the E-Book at Apple

From The Orange County Register's editorial:

So far, the ebook market actually is dominated by Amazon.com's Kindle device, Ryan Radia told us; he's associate director of technologies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Last fall, the Kindle Fire was introduced, retailing for $199 instead of the $499 of the iPad. Kindle Fire sold 6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with 15 million for the iPad.

The devices aren't exactly equivalent. Kindle Fire is smaller and less versatile, but more easily can tap into Amazon's vast content resources. And it's only the first model of this device.

"The antitrust lawsuit only will discourage Apple from competing in ebooks," Mr. Radia warned. "We want competition. But the lawsuit limits the ability of publishers creatively to set pricing for books."

Mr. Radia said the charge that Apple and "a handful of publishers" somehow are colluding to rig the market is absurd. "The abundance of books is extreme."