It’s them, not us: iPad maker denies fixing price e-books- despite US government lawsuit filing, Wednesday.
Apple has broken its silence to accusations by US Justice Dept, vehemently denying it colluded with five book publishers to fix the price of electronic books titles, saying iBookstore was a bulwark against “monopolistic ” rival Amazon.
Cupertino spokesperson Natalie Kerris vehemently denied the accusations, telling Wall Street Journal Thursday:
“The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry.”
Allegations of anti competitive behaviour are “simply not true,” Kerris insisted.
“Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.”
Read: Apple E-book Row To Hit OZ?
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Cupertino stands accused by US Justice Dept. of colluding with book publishers prior to the launch of iPad in 2010, including Harper Collins (owned by News Corp), CBS owned Simon & Schuster Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group, Macmillan and Penguin, to fix the price of e-books at a higher level.
Amazon has been selling e-book titles for cut price rates as low as $0.99c prior to the Apple “agency model” agreement with publishers, said to be the brainchild of Steve Jobs.
The case was filed on Wednesday at the US District Court, New York. Three of the five publishers are seeking to settle outside court. But it looks like Apple’s denial means it will fight the US authorities accusations.
The Australian consumer watchdog, ACCC, said today that it is “aware of the developments in other jurisdictions concerning e-book publishing and pricing” and called on OZ retailers to raise any concerns they have with them.
Apple shares slipped slightly by 0.55% to US$621.42 in after hours trading.