Representatives of some of aforementioned companies have held talks to settle the potential anti-trust case and a spokesman said that a settlement could lead to cheaper consumer prices. The publishers in question have denied agreeing to raise prices, according to the Journal, and insist that an agency pricing model has enhanced competition by encouraging more online booksellers.
Publishers set e-book prices under the “agency model” and Apple earns 30% of retail, but Apple won’t allow publishers to let rival retailers sell ebooks at a lower price (which is also an Amazon.com policy).
Amazon Inc. has sold new bestselling books at $9.99 as a way to promote its Kindle e-readers, but the practice has “ruffled the features of many publishers.”What does all this mean to writers? Lower royalties for one thing. Many e-books are already selling at 99 cents or lower, and Amazon’s Kindle Select Program offers free e-book promotions for any writer who signs on exclusively for the 90-day program as well as royalty payments for its book borrowing program. That's a lot of free e-books for potential buyers. KSP was designed to provide free e-books to Amazon's Prime members and even offers a free one-month trial to entice readers to join.
Why? Rumor has it that Amazon.com is in financial trouble and that a number of writers are threatening a class action lawsuit because royalties haven’t been paid, or their sales figures have disappeared off the Kindle Direct Publishing Bookshelf report.
Has the e-book revolution reached its peak and begun it’s retreat into cyberspace? Only time will tell.