Following the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to file a lawsuit against Apple and five other book publishers for their collusion to inflate e-book prices, one company sitting on the sidelines is looking forward to reaping the benefits: Amazon.
The Justice Department announced today in a statement that it had reached a settlement with three of the largest book publishers – Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster – in the United States. During a press conference, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, “If approved by the court, this settlement would resolve the Department’s antitrust concerns with these companies, and would require them to grant retailers – such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble – the freedom to reduce the prices of their e-book titles.”
Amazon, as you would imagine, was delighted with the news that it would be free to market e-books at a lower price. “It is a big win for Kindle owners,” the company said in a statement. “We look forward to being allowed to lower prices on more Kindle books.”
Aside from pushing more e-books into the market, the move could also be advantageous for future sales of Kindles. As more and more people continue to use mobile devices as their preferred method for reading digital material, Amazon could be in a position wrest away any market share that Apple managed to capture since the launch of its iPads in 2010.
And while this may not be the best news in the world if you’re a book retailer, lower e-book prices will most likely lead consumers to continue their starry-eyed affection for Amazon.