It looks like there could soon be some relaxation of the alleged ebook price fixing. When Apple negotiated its iBookstore strategy it allowed publishers to set the price as long it got the customary 30 percent cut. Now this is being called into question by the US government and we can expect a some back-pedalling in publishing circles.
It’s about time ebook prices were freed from the restrictions imposed by companies such as Apple and by the publishers in general. There is absolutely no justification for ebooks to cost as much (if not more) than physical books sold from high-street retailers.
Even in the UK, where ebooks are subjected to 20 percent tax while physical books are exempt (a total nonsense which needs urgent addressing) ebooks are often more expensive. Distribution of ebooks costs virtually nothing compared with the inefficiencies of printing, packing, transporting and displaying of physical books. It is about time that people who insist on buying physical books should be the ones to pay the premium.