U.S. SUES APPLE, FIVE PUBLISHERS
The Justice Dept. April 11 filed an antitrust suit against Apple and five publishers, charging they colluded to raise prices in the e-book market.
Attorney General Eric Holder told a press conference the companies “worked together to eliminate competition among stores selling e-books, ultimately increasing prices for consumers.” He believes that collusion costs consumers millions of dollars.
The suit alleges the defendants schemed to raise prices to punish Amazon’s move in 2007 to sell their books for $9.99.
The lawsuit claims the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs orchestrated the pricing plan urging the publishers to see if “we can make a go of this to create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 to $14.99.”
HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster are named in the suit. A proposed settlement has been ironed out with Hachette, HC and S&S.
Under that deal, the publishers would offer Amazon and Barnes & Noble the freedom to reduce prices on their e-titles and sever their “most-favored nation” agreements with Apple’s iBookstore and other e-book retailers.
The trio also will not constrain retailers from offering discounts during the next two years and are prohibited from sharing competitive data with other for five years.
Apple, MacMillan and Penguin have denied wrongdoing. MacMillan said it had entered negotiations to settle the suit, but found the Justice Dept. demands were “too onerous.”
PARENTS EXTENDS REACH
Parents magazine on April 14 kicked off a six-week run on Sirius XM Radio to feature its editors and experts tackling child rearing issues, parental problems and family health. They will take questions from listeners via phone, Facebook and Twitter.
Parents editor-in-chief Dana Points, deputy editor Diane Debrovner and host Wesley Weissberg will provide “it worked for me advice” and deal with topics covered in the magazine that reaches 15M readers a month and attracts 4.5M unique visitors monthly.
Booked guests include Dr. Michael Thompson, author of “Raising Cain,” and Pamela Redmond Satran, a baby naming expert.
Parents is owned by Meredith Corp.
CONDE NAST GOES HOLLYWOOD
Conde Nast Entertainment Group has hired Jeremy Steckler, Fox Searchlight veteran, as executive VP-motion pictures, and Michael Klein, Sundance Channel alum, as executive VP-alternative programming.
The Los Angeles-based Steckler and New York-headquartered Klein are to develop film, TV and digital programs based on content from CN’s magazines. They also may use seed money to fund project start-ups.
Also, Conde Nast's senior VP brand communications Maurie Perl is moving to the entertainment group on April 23. She began at Conde Nast in 1992, after handling publicity duties at ABC News, PBS and MTV.