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Apple backs down on eBook pricing restrictions allowing cheaper eBooks for 2 years

Apple has stepped down from its battle with Amazon and other eBook publishers regarding their desire to set eBook pricing restrictions for Amazon and other retailers. The result of this means users will see cheaper eBooks coming their way for the next few years.

Apple and a band of four publishers; Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Hachette Livre, and Macmillan, have stepped back from a battle that Apple had started in order to stop retailers from pricing their own eBooks and thus making alternatives more expensive than Apple’s offerings.

Originally Apple wanted to set a pricing structure based around an agency model of eBook pricing that let book publishers set the prices of their own books in return for a 30 per cent cut when sold through iBooks. However, firms such as Amazon have not adopted the same model and thus can afford to offer the same books for cheaper, which off course, Apple does not like.

Joaquin Almunia, the EU Competition Commissioner who was leading the investigation into the pricing upset, said that this commitment will “restore normal competitive conditions in this new and fast-moving market, to the benefit of the buyers and readers of e-books”.

Apple’s original plan was to make eBook prices rise and continue to stay at a high premium due to the publishers losing 30% of the revenue from sales to Apple.

Amazon and friends took the attempted shut out to the EU, where the European Commission said on Thursday that the concessions from Apple and the publishers soothed concerns that their pricing deals curbed competition.

All in all this means that for the next two years we will have a much cheaper and competitive eBook market where cheap books will be plentiful, which can only be a good thing for the consumer.