Department of Justice Responds to Public Comments

By Jason Boog Comment

The Department of Justice filed its response to public comments on the eBook price fixing lawsuit it filed against Apple and major publishers.

Follow this link to read the entire filing, specifically addressing commentary from Barnes & Noble, the Consumer Federation of America, Independent Book Publishers, the American Booksellers Association, the Authors Guild, literary agent Brian DeFiore, Royalty Share CEO Bob Kohn, Steerads, Inc., the National Association of College Stores and the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association.

The DOJ has archived all the commentary at this link. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has received 868 letters from concerned publishers, authors and readers about its civil lawsuit over eBook price-fixing.

Here’s an excerpt from the DOJ response to Barnes & Noble: “B&N maintains that allowing retailer discounting will, by driving down consumer prices, subject consumers to a variety of anticompetitive effects. But the procompetitive consumer benefits that B&N alleges are the result of the conspiracy are either not substantiated or are untethered to the conspiracy. B&N does not explain how freeing retailers to compete on price will lead to “uncompetitive,” rather than competitive, pricing, and its claim that the return of retail price competition will discourage investment is belied by the fact that, shortly after the proposed Final Judgment was filed in this matter, B&N was able to attract a $300 million investment from Microsoft specifically to “battle with Amazon and Apple in e-books.”