Apple and publishers nearing eBooks settlement with DOJ

It appears that Apple may avoid going head to head with the Department of Justice over possible eBook price fixing, with the news from Reuters that the company behind iBooks and publishers may be close to coming to an agreement with the DOJ.

Earlier this month it was suggested that Apple and book publishers had been colluding in order to fix the price of electronic books, and with Apple already in so many court rooms it is clear that the firm could do without having to fight on yet another front.

Even Apple can’t take on everyone…

The situation revolves around how Apple’s distribution model works with publishers – Apple currently takes 30% of revenues, with publishers themselves setting the prices of individual books. Contrast this with Amazon’s own Kindle store, where the company had been buying books wholesale from publishers and then sets its own prices.

Apple’s move into the market, and with the new sales model, saw things change across the board, preventing Amazon from selling books as loss-leaders, and increasing the price of books at the same time.

Obviously publishers prefer the model where it gets the most money, and with talks still not completed, there is no saying where this will finish. With both Amazon and Apple having huge buying power, as well as clout with those that matter, it will be interesting to see how the situation concludes.

We’ll keep an eye on proceedings.