The Justice Department of the United States formally charged Apple along with several biggest publishing houses (HarperCollins, Penguin, Hachette and Macmillan) regarding their to ebook pricing policy. According to the U.S. Justice Department conclusion these companies are quilty in anti-competitive practices involving book pricing and sales. This is the result of a year-long investigation into the matter after Apple has started its sales model that allows they to retain a big portion of the sale of “iBooks” sold through their iTunes platform. This has resulted in higher prices electronic books, as the possibility to set their own prices was allowed to only a few sellers.
The largest eBook sellers, such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon do practice the wholesale pricing model that allows them to purchase the rights to sell books at their own price. This practice sometimes helps the independent publishers to turn their works to the bestsellers. However, in Apple’s case only the big publishers can price books how they want to.