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Here in the US the DOJ may have completed its investigation into the price-fixing activities of Apple and 5 major trade publishers and gone after the parties involved, but Canada is a different matter.
My contact with the Canadian Competition Bureau informed me today that its investigation into whether publishers and retailers may have conspired to raise ebook prices in Canada is ongoing and has not yet been resolved.
Rather, the investigation has expanded to include Kobo, Penguin, and Apple.
Apple may be trying to keep the spotlight on its latest foray into the streaming-music business, but it is also still trying to clean up the mess caused by its ham-handed entry into an earlier market: book publishing. A federal court on Tuesday rejected the company's appeal of an earlier ruling that found it guilty of orchestrating a conspiracy with the major book publishers, in what the court said was a successful attempt to artificially inflate the price of e-books.
An appeals court in New York on Tuesday upheld a 2013 verdict that Apple organized an illegal conspiracy with five book publishers to raise the price of ebooks, noting that so-called horizontal price-fixing is "the supreme evil of antitrust."
The ruling ends a long-running legal fight between Apple and the U.S. Justice Department, and paves the way for Apple AAPL 0.58% to start issuing payouts to consumers in a related class-action settlement.
Another spring book season has come to pass, and with it another set of factual mini-scandals. Earlier this month, the New York Post found major inaccuracies in Primates of Park Avenue, Wednesday Martin's "study" of Upper East Siders and their wife bonuses, prompting Simon & Schuster to slap a quick disclaimer onto its best-seller. A Salon.com writer found that a key statistic in David Brooks's The Road to Character was badly mangled and wrongly sourced. (Random House will correct it in future editions.)
Penguin Random House has signed new long-term sales agreements for print and e-book sales with Amazon in both the US and UK, on undisclosed terms.
The agreement was confirmed by Amazon. A PRH spokesperson said: "We do not discuss our relationships with our retail partners. But, as you can see, we still are in business with Amazon, and with all our retail partners, and will continue to be."
In the US, Penguin Random House was the last of the original agency publishers to reach a new agreement after its Department of Justice
NEW YORK, June 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Simon & Schuster has entered into a sales and distribution agreement with Piggyback Interactive Limited, publisher of official video game strategy guides, it was announced today. Under the agreement, Simon & Schuster will handle sales and distribution for Piggyback in the United States and Canada. The first titles under the agreement will be releasing in September 2015.
Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Worthy, Regnery, Beaufort and Dunham Books are among publishers test driving a new social media marketing tool for publishers called BookGrabbr.
The online marketing tool allows publishers to give away eBooks or sections of eBooks in exchange for a social share from consumers. The idea is that by giving consumers book excerpts and requiring them to post about it on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, that they will spread the word about the book with their networks and the books will take off virally.
This year's IDPF Digital Book Conference theme marks a significant shift in book publishing strategy. "Put the reader first," was a phrase mentioned throughout the day's sessions, urging attendees give their consumers greater agency and in a sense catch up to other entertainment industries that are already empowering their audience. By utilizing digital content channels, publishers can interact with readers more easily than ever before and measure that interaction. This shift is steadily gaining momentum in the industry and leading publishers, including HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, shared strategies and technology they have employed to understand who their audiences are and how to get them reading.
Epic!, an ebook subscription service for children, is adding digital titles from Macmillan to its inventory. The service offers access to a library of about 10,000 digital titles for $4.99 per month.
Macmillan will provide "a few hundred" children's e-books to Epic!'s library, according to Epic! cofounder Kevin Donahue. When the Macmillan titles go live in a few weeks, Epic! will have titles from two of the Big Five publishers: HarperCollins and Macmillan.