This past Thursday night, on 12 April 2012, Phillip Swanson reported on MMi that the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) was suing Apple and five leading global publishers in an antitrust lawsuit stemming from allegations of eBook price-fixing.
Now it seems that the Australian government wants in on the DOJ’s fight. To that end, Australian officials are now strongly encouraging retailers to file formal complaints regarding eBook price fixing while the government itself contemplates its own lawsuit, likely against Apple and the same publishers.
In United States, the five publishing houses named in the DOJ lawsuit include Hachette, Harper Collins, Simon & Shuster, Macmillan, and The Penguin Publishing Co. Ltd. Three of the five publishers have reportedly already reached a settlement with the DOJ. As of this writing, it remains to be seen if Apple, Macmillan and Penguin will similarly reach settlements or if they will fight the charges.
According to Australia’s Financial Review, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) seems eager to battle it out with Apple. A spokesperson said:
“The ACCC has previously stated that impediments to emerging competition involving online traders is an area of priority. Competition concerns may arise where traders seek to restrict the discounting of products by way of respective arrangements with suppliers. Retailers with concerns should raise them with the ACCC.”
On this matter, Apple has justified its act by saying that it was trying to break Amazon’s monopoly. Do you agree? Post your comments.