Almost exactly two years ago, when the big publishers, along with Apple, effectively forced Amazon to allow the publishers to jack up prices on ebooks, I noted that this looked like a classic case of price fixing
. Apparently, the US government agrees -- and found enough evidence to go after the publishers and Apple for price fixing
. There are settlement talks ongoing, but if they fall through, the government is likely to sue. This probably means that we'll start seeing some lower prices
on ebooks. Of course, the stupid thing is that these super high ebook prices have probably hurt the market more than helped. Lots of indie authors have experimented with ebook pricing, and found that the sweet spot for maximizing revenue is often under $5. So while big publishers may have been getting more per sale, it seems likely they were leaving a ton of money on the table by limiting the size of their ebook market with prices that were just too high.