Few details are out, but the Department of Justice is going to be making an announcement today that it is filing a lawsuit against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and book publishers for collusion or price fixing on ebooks. The move to digital has been a difficult one for many book retailers, and all you have to do is ask Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) about how the move to digital has eroded its core book sales.
The WSJ is reporting that the DOJ suit alleges that consumers have paid tens of millions of dollars more for ebooks than what they should have paid. If this is only ‘tens of millions of dollars’ as the initial reports are signaling then it is effectively not going to be anything more than a slap on the wrist.
Oddly enough, the impact is small so far. Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is barely up 0.3% when you would think that it may benefit from this move. Apple is still up 0.9% at $634.00 or so.
JON C. OGG