ABA Meets With Justice Department

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On Monday, March 19, ABA President Becky Anderson of Anderson’s Bookshops in Naperville, Illinois; Vice President Steve Bercu of BookPeople in Austin, Texas; CEO Oren Teicher; and General Counsel Deanne Ottaviano of Arent Fox, LLP, met with representatives of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., to express ABA’s support for agency model pricing of e-books in connection with the Department’s ongoing investigation of e-book pricing terms.

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Justice Department had warned Apple and five publishers using the agency model to sell e-books that it was planning to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise prices. The five publishers involved in the suit — Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group (USA), Macmillan, and HarperCollins — have denied DOJ claims that they acted together to raise prices and have told investigators that the shift to agency pricing enhanced competition in the industry by allowing more electronic booksellers to thrive, WSJ reported.