Random House Expressing Concerns Over iPad Book Price War

Random House, one of the world’s leading publishing houses, is dithering on the decision of distribution over Apple’s latest tablet computer, the iPad, as well as its companion iBooks Store amidst price-related concerns, according to a report published on the Financial Times.

Markus Dohle, chief executive of the company, told the news outlet that Apple’s iPad represents a big shift in the business model, and therefore the company is looking for some more time to consult with shareholders and authors to decide upon the matter.

However, he maintained that his company could still decide upon it before the iPad starts shipping on 3rd April. The primary concern revolves around Apple’s existing business “agency model”, which lets the company take preset commissions on sales.

As per the report, contrary with the traditional business model, Apple would have the publishers put the price-tags as paid by customers, something which doesn’t seem to be lucrative proposition to Random House executives.

Besides, Hartmut Ostrowski, CEO of Bertelsmann, the company which owns Random House, at a press conference of late, acknowledged that the e-reader devices, like Sony Reader, Amazon’s Kindle, and Apple iPad, are here to stay.

He further said that these devices are swaying the media sector “like nothing else” before.

Our Comments

The delay from Random House still exists, after five of its major rivals, including Penguin, McMillan, Simon & Shuster, Hachette, and HarperCollins, have announced deals with Apple to offer content over the iPad. There are rumours however that the book "cartel" will try to stick to the current price scheme of physical books.

Related Links

Price concerns keep Random House content from Apple iPad

(Apple Insider)

Random House Holding Out From iBookstore Amid Fears of Price Wars


Random House Balking on iPad Distribution, Fears Price War

(Mac Observer)

Random House leery of iPad over pricing concerns


Random House fears iPad price war

(Financial Times)