The DOJ Got it Right with the eBook Antitrust Case

I’ve seen recent postings from John Gruber and David Sparks, critizing the DOJ’s antitrust case against Apple and book publishers. These posts from Mr. Gruber and Mr. Sparks seem, however, to ignore how antitrust law actually works. One of the things antitrust laws prohibit is companies from holding clandestine meetings to agree on a pricing strategy for the whole industry. That is exactly what the book publishers are accused of doing in this case. Mr. Gruber and Mr. Sparks can try to make the argument that the current situation is better for consumers,1 but they should not criticize the DOJ for filing a complaint against companies whose alleged conduct is prohibited by antitrust statutes.

  1. Though that argument is an uphill battle when most eBooks have increased in price by 2-3 dollars per book since Apple got involved.