Originally published: March 12, 2012
Last updated: March 12, 2012 - 3:30pm
When regulators -- first at the European Commission, then last week at the U.S. Department of Justine -- alerted Apple and five major book publishers that they faced antitrust suits for alleged collusion to raise e-book prices, some of the sharpest negotiators in business started looking for a way to settle. But how to do it?
Going back to the way things were -- when Amazon was putting bookstores out of business by buying e-books as a "wholesaler" and selling them below cost -- didn't seem tenable. And dismantling the so-called "agency model" that Apple introduced -- where publishers set whatever price they wanted and Apple took 30% -- was equally unattractive.
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