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DOJ Charts Agency Model Price Increases

How much did eBook prices change after five major publishers agreed to the agency pricing model?

The Department of Justice shared its “findings of fact and conclusions of law” (PDF link) in a long court document this week. The documents included a number of charts created by economics professor Richard Gilbert showing how eBook prices increased once major publishers began selling digital books at the same price across different marketplaces.

Above, you can see the price increases charted by publisher. The lengthy court document also contained emails from major publishing executives, Apple leaders and other people who helped craft the agency pricing model.

 

You can read the whole PDF at this link. In the chart embedded below, you can see the percent increase “from shortly before to shortly after agency” in eBooks for sale at Amazon, according to that same DOJ research. Here’s more from the court filing:

To measure the change in price attributable to the shift to agency, Professor Gilbert calculated the weighted average price of all Publisher Defendants’ titles in a one-week period shortly before, and another one-week period shortly after, the effective date of the Apple Agency Agreements … Measuring the difference between the two periods, he found that prices increased by 18.6% at Amazon and by 19.9% at Barnes & Noble in the weeks following the move to agency.

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