Apple Might Have More Control Over Ebook Prices After All (Read: Cheaper Ebooks)

Illustration for article titled Apple Might Have More Control Over Ebook Prices After All (Read: Cheaper Ebooks)

More details coming out about Apple's deals with book publishers, and it looks like Apple might have more leverage over prices than expected. The NYT says that "Apple inserted provisions requiring publishers to discount e-book prices on best sellers."

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Three people "with knowledge of the discussions" told the Times that Apple's provisions allow it to discount books that hit the bestseller list—maybe down to $9.99, after all—with $12.99-$14.99 as simply a ceiling, that way Apple can compete with bookstores and Amazon's Kindle that push bestsellers at a cut rate. And if publishers sell a hardcover at a discount, Apple wants to be able to cut the price on their ebook counterpart as well, even if it doesn't go all bestseller.

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Given that the reason publishers were giddy over dealing with Apple was the opportunity to set their own prices, if this report's true, it sounds like they're interested enough in creating a viable threat to Kindle that they'll sell themselves a little shorter than they'd wanted to, just to give Apple a strong foothold in the market. Yep, this is going to be a dirty, dirty fight. [NYT]

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DISCUSSION

God forbid we revel in the fact that this is improving the market and the winners are the consumer. We get lower prices and competition. Love or hate iTunes music is cheaper because of it. Competitors make better interfaces and they work to get customers harder because of it. Apple hasn't purchased or bullied or litigated people out of business like Microsoft and then delivered an inferior product. They set the standard then others had to raise their product. Even Microsoft is finally putting out better products because of this.