Apple Not Likely to be a Loser in the E-Book Legal Fight

Apple is in a legal case filed against them over e-book pricing.  On April 12, 2012 Nick Wingfield of the New York Times explains why Apple is most likely not to be the loser in this battle with Amazon.  This legal case began by the Justice Department on Apple; the Department set up lawsuits against Apple and five other publishers who attempted to use e-books to reduce Amazon’s success in digital media and devices with the Kindle.

In regards to e-books, Apple versus Amazon’s main product battle is between the Kindle (and other e-books) versus Apple’s iPad.  Contrary to what the lawsuit may have proposed for Apple, iPad appeal and popularity did not decrease even as e-book sales continue to increase.  In fact the iPad is even more appealing/beneficial for Apple according to James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research, who says, “his company indicated that games, Web browsing, Facebook and other applications are bigger parts of the appeal of the iPad than e-books.”  The Justice Department did not hurt Apple the way they had hoped.

Book publishers are worried that, with the lawsuit potentially favoring Apple, low pricing by Amazon may drive them out of business.  Local book publishing president for White Cloud Press Steve Scholl also gave a lecture to the History of Publishing class about the “Perils of Publishing.”  Steve explained the process which a printed book goes through, going from the publisher to distributors/wholesales, bookstores, and consumers loses much money – the publishing company, if it is small, does not profit much from a few books.  Similar to the Apple versus Amazon e-book sales, Steve also discussed how the rise and popularity of electronic books decreases sales of printed books.

Nicholas Economides, a professor of economics at New York University thinks the lawsuit is a “strong case.”  Book publishers are worrying that returns of low pricing by Amazon will drive them out of business, similar concerns of White Cloud Press president Steve Scholl.  Still, so many are in favor of Apple’s win – or if not win, not giving up easily.  Mark Lemley, a law professor at Stanford University says “Apple has a history of being fairly aggressive in litigation.”

About Ed Battistella

Edwin Battistella’s latest book Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels was released by Oxford University Press in March of 2020.
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