according to some experts) launched an antitrust suit it will probably lose. Nonetheless, several publishers have already settled rather than go through the expense and bad publicity of a protracted legal action.
The winner is Amazon. They already have a stranglehold on the book industry and it will probably get worse. The public loves the low prices, though, so Amazon looks like the good guy rather than the monopoly Apple suggests it is.
I'm discouraged by the DOJ action because even with moderate success (bullying publishers into settling), they are making it harder for writers, editors and publishers to earn a living. While some writers love Amazon, I do not. Whether they are selling books at a loss, leaning on publishers for better deals, or saying nasty things about bookstores, they are driving down prices based on the mistaken concept that an e-book is "just a file."
Readers, many of whom think they are entitled to free books, like the "just a file" view of a book. What Amazon doesn't tell readers is that the e-book file represents many hours of work by authors, editors and publishers. What's for sale here is not the file but the file's contents.
Most novels sell relatively few copies when compared with the bestsellers. So, when we say a book that took two years of an author's life to write is "just a file," we err when we suggest his/her earnings at 99 cents a copy will make him/her rich. Most authors will be lucky to sell a thousand copies. Suffice it to say, the royalties on 1,000 copies sold at Amazon's monopolistic low prices to not constitute a living wage for an author after a year or two of writing.
Odd, I think, that the Department of Justice under a liberal administration is siding with the Amazon in the room rather than all the authors, publishers and editors who are being harmed by the virtual monopoly that's already in place.