The Agency Pricing lawsuit probably won’t solve anything

It took well over a year, but the first consumer lawsuit has been filed over Agency pricing. You can read the press release and legal paperwork on Scribd, but the short of it is that a couple consumers are accusing publishers of colluding with Apple.

The cabal known as the Agency 5 are accused of fixing prices on ebooks. This is an anti-trust lawsuit, and it’s being handled by a firm that specializes in class-action lawsuits.

I do find this interesting. It’s not going to resolve anything in the short term, and it probably won’t accomplish anything in the medium term, either. If this lawsuit is decided in less than 3 years I will be deeply surprised. Actually, if we take the Google Books lawsuit as a yardstick, this lawsuit probably won’t be done inside 6 years.

This lawsuit is likely to go on so long that the ebook market will have changed enough that the lawsuit will be redundant. I don’t know what will happen in the next X years but I would bet money that the lawsuit will look silly by the time it’s done.

That’s already happened with the Google Books lawsuit. Google have launched a public site based on the books they scanned, as well as an ebookstore, ebook reader, and apps.

At this point, all of the disputed orphan works (that anyone cares about) have probably already been pirated. There’s no need to worry about Google selling them anymore; if I wanted one I would look for it on a torrent somewhere.

image by Kradlum

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. […] 2011 by Nate Hoffelder · No Comments · Uncategorized // Earlier this week the first class-action lawsuit was filed against Apple and the Agency 5. it took just over a year, but someone finally decided to […]

  2. […] August 22nd, 2011 by Nate Hoffelder · No Comments · lawsuit // Another anti-trust lawsuit has been filed to day, which now makes (I believe) 4 lawsuits in process in various parts of the US. ( Can you believe that it’s only been 2 weeks since the first lawsuit was filed?) […]

  3. italianEreader6 December, 2011

    Antitrust proceedings opened by the European Commission to investigate the sale of ebooks (in EU)

    A procedure for evaluating cartels and anticompetitive practices in the sale of the ebook: The European Commission investigates five international publishing groups that may have also received support from Apple. They are giants like HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Livre, Verlagsgruppe Georg von Penguin and Holzbrinck, owner of MacMillan.

    They publish a wide range of works such as literary classics, fiction, dictionaries. The investigation began last March after the demands of European companies engaged in the market for digital books. An official in Brussels said: “The opening of the procedure means that the Commission will address the case as a priority. Do not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.” Concerning the countries of the European Union and the euro. He also co-operating agency Antitrust British Office of Fair Trading……

    From the most important Italian economics newspaper, 6 Dec2011

  4. […] Comments · lawsuit /* */ Do you recall all those lawsuits filed against the Price Fix 6 months ago? It turns out that the lawsuits aren’t just opportunistic lawyers going after an easy kill; […]


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