When the dreaded Agency model for ebook pricing first appeared, many Kindle owners expressed hopes that someone would investigate Apple and the five major publishers involved for anti-trust issues. While this didn’t happen on the federal or state level, there is now a class action lawsuit pending.
The Seattle law firm of Hagens Berman has filed suit against Apple, HarperCollins Publishers, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group Inc. and Simon & Schuster Inc. for “illegally fix[ing] the prices of electronic books.”
The complaint alleges that:
While free market forces would dictate that e-books would be cheaper than their hard-copy counterparts, considering lower production and distribution costs, the complaint shows that as a result of the agency model and alleged collusion, many e-books are more expensive than their hard-copy counterparts.
According to the complaint, the prices of e-books have risen as much as 50 percent since the switch to an agency model.
Most Kindle owners would probably agree with that assessment.
You can click here to read the full statement on the class action lawsuit. There’s also a form on the site for potential plaintiffs to contact the attorneys.