Friday, 13 April 2012

Agency Model Revisited...

It's been quite difficult to keep up with the almost daily changes going on in relation to Apple, the big name publishers, e-books and the 'Agency Model'.

At the moment there's no final news on the results of the investigation being undertaken by the European Commission (on whether any competition laws have been infringed by agency model pricing).

But earlier this week the US Department of Justice filed papers alleging conspiracy, by Apple and five US publishers, over fixing e-book prices.
Obviously the publishers refuted this and Apple's spokesman denied any collusion.

Now, I'm inclined to accept they didn't actually get together and agree to fix prices- after all they're competitors in one way. But obviously once one publisher does something major, the others are bound to look at it and quickly follow suit without reference to their fellow publishers, just to avoid being put at a disadvantage in the market...

And they probably all share the desire to get one up on Amazon, just to get a little control back...

Three publishers quickly settled with the DoJ and agreed terms- read this piece in the Bookseller explaining.

Meanwhile four publishers have apparently offered a deal to the EC.

While there's a split between those publishers who've agreed to their agency terms being modified, and the remainder who are holding out, surely Amazon will take advantage?

You can read Alison Flood's concerns in the Guardian, 'The Apple ebook price-fixing lawsuit has terrifying implications'.

If your head is spinning from all those links, then you'll find this extensive piece, 'Agency is dead, long live new agency' by Phillip Jones rounding up all the information, with essential quotes and links, plus the implications of these changes, useful.

I can see 2012 is going to prove very interesting...


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Carol - I'm just going to let you tell us what happens, before my eyes glaze over! My launch party )ver on the Flights of Imagination blog) kept me awake a long time last night!

Carolb said...

A wise idea, Rosemary. :-)

I'm sure it will be some months before anyone can decide what effect it has had.

Hope the launch party went well- despite the late night.