Last updated: April 19, 2012 - 1:20pm
Amazon's Kindle e-readers and its bargain pricing of e-books apparently posed an existential threat for publishers.
Publishers believed the low prices for these newly released and best-selling e-books were "disrupting the industry," according to the Justice Department's lawsuit. Publishers worried that if $9.99 solidified as the de facto standard that consumers expected on retail prices for e-books, Amazon and other retailers would demand that they lower their wholesale prices, further squeezing publisher profit margins, according to the lawsuit. Those publishers feared that this $9.99 price point could become so popular that digital publishers could challenge "incumbent publishers' basic business model," according to the lawsuit.
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