Apple responds to price fixing allegations

News Paul Briden 12:27, 13 Apr 2012

Apple has released a statement defending itself over the eBook price fixing scandal

Apple has spoken out over accusations of eBook price fixing from the US Department of Justice.

Natalie Kerris, a spokesperson for Apple, told the Wall Street Journal that the allegations were ‘simply not true' and that although publishers were setting the prices, Apple itself had nothing to do with this practice.

‘Just as we've allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore,' said Kerris.

‘The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry,' she added.

Apple stands accused alongside five major publishers, including Harper Collins and Penguin, of fixing eBook prices too high. The US Department of Justice is now in the process of suing Apple.

The claim against Apple implies that the company was instrumental in establishing an ‘agency pricing model' which has ultimately led to much higher eBook pricing for consumers using iOS devices.

The agency model allows publishers to set their own prices for eBooks and Apple claims it would enhance competition, but according to some reports the involvement wasn't simply a case of Apple being benevolent, allegedly it had a more direct involvement in prices settling at their current high point on the iBookstore. 

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