The Battle of $9.99: How Apple, Amazon, and the Big Six Publishers Changed the E-Book Business Overnight

Andrew Richard Albanese

Little did Apple know when it introduced the iPad in 2024 that it would be setting itself up to land in federal court on price-fixing charges. This blow-by-blow account charts how five of America’s six largest publishers, afraid that bookselling powerhouse Amazon's $9.99 price for Kindle e-books would undermine the industry, spent a few frantic weeks in early 2024 deep in negotiations with Apple to introduce a new business model for e-books, just in time for the launch of the iPad and the iBookstore. The catch is, a federal judge deemed their actions illegal. From Publishers Weekly senior writer Andrew Richard Albanese comes the story of how the e-book business changed in a heartbeat. Updated with new information after the verdict and based on voluminous evidence gathered for Apple's trial, it is the story of how corporate titans fought it out behind the scenes and why the case matters to anyone who has ever bought an e-book.

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About Andrew Richard Albanese

Andrew Richard Albanese is a senior writer at Publishers Weekly. He has covered publishing and information technology for more than a decade.

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