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Texas Attorney General And FTC Probe eBook Pricing

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The Texas attorney general Greg Abbott and the FTC are both investigating eBook pricing and eyeing Apple for the way that eBooks are sold on the iPad. Hachette Book Group and News Corp.’s HarperCollins Publishers have both reportedly been contacted by the Texas official.

From Publisher’s Weekly, “According to those with knowledge of the department’s civil investigative demands (or CID, their request for documents and other information), the queries began in early to mid-April within days of the launch of Apple’s iPad and iBookstore, and the transition by five book publishers to an agency model for selling ebooks to their accounts.”

From the Wall Street Journal, “It isn’t yet clear what areas of inquiry Texas is pursuing. One possible focus is Apple’s e-book pricing and its impact on consumers. Apple, in seeking to attract content for the iPad, opted for an agency pricing model in which publishers set their own retail prices and receive 70% of the price while sellers receive the remaining 30%.”

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