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Apple And Amazon E-Book Pricing Under Investigation

Apple and Amazon are under investigation from the attorney general of the state of Connecticut to determine whether their digital book deals with publishers affect market competition, the New York Times reported on Monday.

“The e-book market is set to explode — with analysts predicting that e-book readers will be among the holiday season’s biggest electronics gifts — warranting prompt review of the potential anticonsumer impacts,” Blumenthal said in a statement.

According to Blumenthal, his office grew concerned after analysing the prices offered by Apple, Amazon, Borders and Barnes and Noble for digital books. The review showed that the prices of best sellers were identical.

Both Amazon and Apple, as well as national retailers, are offering best selling books for as low as $9.99, initiating concerns in the market for hardcovers.

"These agreements among publishers, Amazon and Apple appear to have already resulted in uniform prices for many of the most popular e-books -- potentially depriving consumers of competitive prices," Blumenthal added.