Hachette Book Group today announced that it will once again sell its frontlist ebook titles to libraries, beginning on May 8. Hachette’s entire catalog of 5,000 ebooks will now be available through OverDrive, Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 platform, and the 3M Cloud Library, under a pricing and licensing model similar to the one employed by Random House.
Macmillan on Friday became the last of five major publishers to settle a lawsuit over the pricing of ebooks originally filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and 15 states in April 2012. In an email addressed to “Authors, Illustrators and Agents” Macmillan CEO John Sargent wrote that he believed the company had done nothing wrong and could still win the case, but the risk of losing the legal battle had become too high.
The American Library Association (ALA) on Friday denounced Hachette Book Group’s decision to implement steep price increases on its back-catalog of ebooks sold to the library market. OverDrive broke the news to its customers in an email on September 13, stating that “Hachette will be raising its eBook prices on October 1, 2012 on their currently available eBook catalog (~3,500 eBook titles with release dates of April 2010 and earlier). On average prices will increase 220 percent.” ALA President Maureen Sullivan expressed disappointment at Hachette’s choice, noting that ALA had believed that the publisher was moving toward more favorable terms for libraries.
OverDrive To Library Customers: Hachette is Raising E-Book Prices an Average of 220% on Over 3500 Titles
UPDATE 4: Jamie LaRue from Douglas County Libraries Comments in this Library Journal Report UPDATE 3: We reached out to OverDrive with specific questions about the price increase and the technical issues that Hachette refers in their comment (below). They told us, “As a policy, we don’t comment on our internal processes or business relationships.” [...]
Pending the approval of U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, $69 million will be awarded to consumers who purchased agency-priced ebooks between April 2010 and May 2012, as part of a proposed settlement of a state antitrust suit filed against HarperCollins, Hachette SA, and Simon & Schuster. Led by the Attorneys General of Connecticut and Texas, 49 states (excluding Minnesota) and 5 U.S. territories had accused the publishers of conspiring to fix ebook prices.
U.S. District Court judge Denise Cote denied a motion by Apple, Penguin, and Macmillian to dismiss a civil class action suit that alleges Apple and the major publishers colluded to set ebook prices. The-56 page court document explains the standard of proof Judge Cote applied, saying that the court “may not properly dismiss a complaint [...]
The Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation of Apple and five major publishers could reach a conclusion as early as this week, according to Bloomberg. The department is looking into whether the publishers and Apple violated antitrust laws when they decided to adopt the “agency model” of ebook pricing. Apple, Penguin and Macmillan are prepared to [...]