Daily Archives: April 5, 2012

John Gapper

Perhaps there is good news for book publishers in the talks with anti-trust authorities in the US and Europe on how electronic books are priced. Admittedly, the good news is well hidden.

On the face of it, publishers are in trouble from the threat by the US Department of Justice and the European Commission to strike down their preferred “agency model” for pricing, under which they set their retail prices for ebooks, rather than leaving it to distributors such as Amazon and Apple.

I’ve covered this saga before, and take the view that the anti-trust regulators should not facilitate Amazon’s efforts to control the ebook market with the Kindle by insisting on it being able to discount books as it wishes after obtaining them at wholesale prices from publishers. 

My respect for the City of London’s enforcers has gone up a notch with their decision to impose a £450,000 fine on Ian Hannam, a senior banker at JPMorgan Cazenove and a pivotal figure in the commodities and mining boom that has transformed both London and the FTSE 100 index.