Apple: we broke Amazon's ebook monopoly

Apple denies allegations that it colluded with publishers to prop up ebook prices

13 Apr 2012

Apple has denied allegations that it fixed ebook prices with publishers.

US authorities sued Apple and five publishers – three of which have settled – this week, accusing the six firms of colluding to artificially inflate ebook prices and of guaranteeing the tech firm the lowest selling price.

Apple has responded to the suit, telling the Wall Street Journal that the allegations are “simply not true” – and that Apple’s efforts helped prevent Amazon from having an ebook monopoly.

"The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry," a spokeswoman said.

The US Department of Justice noted in its court filing that the way Apple's iBookstore operates is different from its iTunes music store, as publishers set the prices for books but Apple, as the retailer, sets the price for music.

However, Apple said that’s not always the case. "Just as we've allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore," the spokeswoman said.

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