The Attorney General for Connecticut has begun an investigation the deals Apple and Amazon are making with publishers over pricing. The Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, is arguing that the deals between vendors like Apple and the publishers, stifles competition by preventing other marketplaces from offering lower prices. Both Amazon and Apple have reached agreements with […]
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Apple and Amazon Being Questioned Over eBook Pricing Deals

The Attorney General for Connecticut has begun an investigation the deals Apple and Amazon are making with publishers over pricing. The Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, is arguing that the deals between vendors like Apple and the publishers, stifles competition by preventing other marketplaces from offering lower prices.

Both Amazon and Apple have reached agreements with the largest e-book publishers that ensure both will receive the best prices for e-books over any competitors — contract provisions known as “most favored nation” (MFN) clauses.

In letters to Amazon.Com and Apple, Blumenthal is calling on the companies to meet with his office to address these concerns. Publishers that have reached such agreements with Amazon and Apple include Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins and Penguin.

The evidence for this comes from a series of New York Times best sellers that have identical pricing at Apple, Amazon, Borders, and Barnes & Noble, which suggests anticompetitive deals made by Apple and Amazon with content publishers.

You can read Blumenthal’s letter to Apple here.

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