Entries in E-Books (7)


Apple Pushes Back on E-Book Pricing Charges

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Tuesday, the Department Justice announced it was suing Apple and major e-book publishers for collaborating and fixing e-books prices.  At the time, Apple did not have a comment on the government suit, but late Thursday night, the computer electronics giant issued a statement to All Things D.

“The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true.  The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry,” Apple’s Tom Neymaur told the website.  “Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging.  Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.”

Apple provided the same statement to ABC News, but declined to elaborate.

While three publishers -- Harper Collins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster -- settled with the Department of Justice after the suit was filed and agreed to reimburse customers in some cases, Apple, MacMillan and Pearson’s Penguin Group have not settled.  If the statement is any indication, Apple plans to fight the suit.

The Department of Justice alleges that during 2009, executives at the highest levels of the named companies worked together to eliminate competition among stores selling e-books, namely Amazon and its $9.99 e-book pricing model.

However, Antitrust Division Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis Pozen has been clear that this will be an ongoing fight.

“We will pursue vigorously our claims against those companies to ensure that consumers get the full benefits of the competition they deserve.  We are taking action to stop what was an illegal conspiracy,” said Pozen.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


E-book Readers May Read More, Pay Less

Amazon(NEW YORK) -- Apple and five of the biggest U.S. publishers are accused of colluding to raise the price of electronic books for e-readers including iPad, Kindle and Nook.

The Wall Street Journal reported the Justice Department has warned it plans to sue Apple, Penguin Group, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan and HarperCollins. But people familiar with the matter told the paper a settlement may be in the works for some of the publishers, which could lead to cheaper e-books.

Though the devices cost hundreds of dollars, many e-books are cheaper than the traditional paper versions.

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, published by Scholastic, is $5.51 for the Kindle and $5.51 for a paperback version on Amazon.  The book is $8.49 on the Nook.

Moneyball, by Michael Lewis, published by W. W. Norton & Company, is $8.29 on the Kindle, $9.72 in paperback through Amazon with a list price of $15.95. Barnes and Noble’s Nook version is $8.29.

But not all e-books are a big savings over the dead tree version. Ken Follett’s 865-page Fall of Giants is $18.99 on Amazon for the Kindle yet the hardcover version is $20.63.  Lone Wolf: A Novel, by Jodi Picoult is $14.99 on Kindle but $15.99 in hardcover.

The iPad 2 retails for $399 while the new iPad announced this week starts at $499. Amazon’s Kindle starts at $79 while the Nook retails for $99.

About 28 percent of U.S. adults, or three in ten, use an electronic reader device, according to a survey by Harris Interactive released this week. That’s almost double the 15 percent who said they used the device last summer. In the most recent survey, 72 percent said they do not use a device, down from the 85 percent who did not last summer.

Almost three-quarters of e-reader users are reading six or more books in an average year. Among those who are currently using an e-reader, 29 percent say they typically read more than 20 books in an average year, while 21 percent  say they read between 11 and 20 books and 24 read between 6 and 10 books.

Three in five non e-reader users are reading five or fewer books on average in a year. Among those who do not use that device, 18 percent typically reads no books in an average year, 19 percent typically read between one and two books and 21 percent typically reads between three and five books.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Report: Apple, Publishers Warned Over E-Book Price Fixing

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Justice Department is reportedly threatening to sue Apple and five big name publishers for allegedly fixing the price of electronic books, or e-books.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple and the publishers -- Simon & Schuster Inc., Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group, Macmillan and HarperCollins Publishers Inc. -- worked together to change the model under which e-books were priced right around the time when the first iPad was introduced.  This resulted in higher costs to consumers across the board.

Without the change, Amazon could have emerged as the leader in e-books with its bargain prices.

The publishers say that the shift in pricing warrants more competition and allows more electronic booksellers to thrive, according to the Journal, but they have denied teaming up to hike prices.

The Justice Department, publishers and Apple have declined to comment on the allegations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Report: Amazon to Offer Netflix-Like Service for Books?

Amazon dot com(SEATTLE) -- Amazon is thinking of starting a rental service for electronic books. Just as Netflix changed the way people rented movies, Amazon is proposing changing the way people rent books.

Details about the project are limited, but The Wall Street Journal reports that the rental books would probably be older works, and you could only check out a limited number of books at one time.  

Amazon is reportedly in talks with publishers about the idea.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Target Releasing Its Own E-reader

PRNewsFoto/Target(NEW YORK) --  Target has announced its throwing its hat in the ring of the e-reader competition.

The retail giant plans to sell a new device comparable to Amazon's Kindle device and Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader.

The device, called the iriver Story HD, will be the first e-reader to fully integrate with Google's eBooks platform.

In a statement, Target said the device will cost $139.999 and go on sale July 17.

According to reports, the device is slim and lightweight with a high-resolution screen and access to thousands of Google eBooks.

Target also sells the Kindle as well as e-readers by Sony, Kobo, and Pandigital, along with Apple Inc's iPad tablet computer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Librarians Boycott HarperCollins Over E-Books

JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In what is shaping up to be a major battle over e-book lending, librarians across the country have banded together to boycott HarperCollins after the publisher decided it would limit the number of times an e-book can be checked out.

Under a new policy started Monday, HarperCollins will allow libraries lend out a digital version of a book just 26 times before the license expires. After that, the libraries must pay to lease the e-book again, so that another 26 readers can check out the book.

As more readers migrate to digital books and e-readers, publishers are under increasing pressure to create new business models to help them turn a profit. But since HarperCollins announced its decision last month, librarians have taken to the Web in protest, saying the plan will ultimately bring libraries to their knees.

When contacted by ABC News, a HarperCollins spokeswoman referenced a statement released by the company last week.

"We are striving to find the best model for all parties. Guiding our decisions is our goal to make sure that all of our sales channels, in both print and digital formats, remain viable, not just today but in the future. Ensuring broad distribution through booksellers and libraries provides the greatest choice for readers and the greatest opportunity for authors' books to be discovered," the statement said.

In the statement, HarperCollins said it spent several months talking to agents, distributors, and librarians before making its decision. It came up the 26 loan limit per book after looking at a number of factors, including the average lifespan of a traditional print book.

For the books with the highest demand, 26 circulations provides a year of availability, the company said, adding that less popular books could last even longer. When libraries repurchase a book after hitting the limit, the price will be even lower, as it will reflect the paperback price.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


E-Books Overtake Paperbacks

Photo Courtesy - Amazon [dot] com(SEATTLE) -- Electronic books may have reached a tipping point. says it now sells more Kindle books than paperbacks, a whopping 115 E-Books for every 100 paperbacks.

Amazon also sells three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio