Amazon says DOJ deal with book publishers win for Kindle owners

Amazon says it is looking forward to lowering prices on e-books again following news that that U.S. government is investigating whether Apple and book publishers colluded on e-book pricing.

Amazon's Kindle line got its start with a focus on e-books, but with the Kindle Fire, the range of media has broadened out. Josh Miller/CNET

Apple is under federal investigation for allegedly colluding to fix e-book prices with book publishers.

Amazon is delighted...with the prospect of being enabled to once again lower prices.

"[The settlement] is a big win for Kindle owners," Amazon said in a statement. "We look forward to being allowed to lower prices on more Kindle books."

The U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit against Apple and several book publishers. The DOJ alleges that Apple and the publishers colluded in 2010 to fix e-book prices. Apple denies the allegations and has chosen to defend itself in court.

But already, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster (owned by CBS, parent company of CNET), have chosen to settle the case. As part of the settlement, Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference this morning that retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble now have the "freedom to reduce the prices of their e-book titles" in the future.

If Amazon is giddy, it might also have something to do with the fact that the company again can pursue its aggressive pricing strategy on e-books, which helped it dominate the market until Apple came along.

Book publishers say that Amazon's price cutting threatens the market because many competitors can't afford to compete against Amazon in a price war.

 

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