Codebreaker

Amazon fires off a press release two-years in the making

Marc Sanchez Apr 12, 2012

You have to think that yesterday’s lawsuit filed against Apple and five book publishers alleging price fixing for e-books was something of a gold-plated cupcake, sprinkled with gold dust, served on a gold platter to the corner office of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. His company wasted no time in announcing that it will be lowering prices on some popular e-books, something they’ve been wanting to do since the first iPad came out in 2010 and caused e-book prices at Amazon to go up. Titles were previously being sold at the same price as other retailers like iTunes will now be discounted as an incentive to get customers to buy more stuff. The New York Times reports: “The price of some major titles could fall to $9.99 or less from $14.99, saving voracious readers a bundle.”
Not so fast, voracious readers. Publishing insiders and bookstores could be worse off, if the Justice Department wins its case. If Amazon starts selling books at steep discounts, how will other online stores compete? And forget about physical books. If you bought John Grisham’s new baseball book, “Calico Joe” at retail, it would cost you $25. That’s $15 more than what Amazon might sell the e-book version for. If you bought five more books, you would have racked up a total of $90 in extra money spent. That covers the cost of a Kindle. Do you feel that poking in your lip? You’ve just been hooked.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.