Apple, Penguin and Macmillan want to protect the so-called agency model that lets publishers -- not vendors -- set e-book prices, said the people on April 5, who declined to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
The government is seeking a settlement that would let Amazon and other retailers return to a wholesale model, where retailers decide what to charge customers, the people said. A settlement could also void so-called most-favored nation clauses in Apple’s contracts that require book sellers to provide the maker of the iPad with the lowest prices they offer competitors, the people said.
I think most people (who aren't following this very closely) are going to read this and think it's great news, and that they'll somehow benefit in the long run, if the DOJ prevails.
Anyone who think that hasn't been paying much attention.
A victory here, and a return to the wholesale model, simply extends Amazon's control of the ebook market. I like Amazon, and I like a lot of what they're doing in the space, but no one can compete against Amazon NOW, let alone if they're allowed to go back to selling books at a loss, with an 80% share of the market.
Barnes and Noble? Goes out of business. (Hope you weren't too fond of your Nook.)
Your local bookstore? Probably goes out of business.
Apple? Well, they're not going out of business, but iBooks certainly won't be able to compete, because I doubt Apple has any interest in selling anything at a loss, which means no one will buy from Apple.
Still, you might think that you don't care if Amazon has a monopoly, because you own a Kindle and it means you'll get dirt cheap books, right?
What makes anyone think Publishers won't simply retaliate, or retreat, or totally undermine the market due to being forced into a corner by a monopolistic retailer?
Publishers are already skittish and behind the times.
They're not going to hand their industry to Amazon.
Of course, all of this assumes the DOJ wins their lawsuit.