What got Apple in trouble was conspiring with most of the largest publishers to set prices collectively. And each publisher in the group promised it would not agree to allow Amazon to undercut their ebook prices. That was a classic antitrust conspiracy to harm consumers by preventing price discounting.
What Amazon is doing in the US seems to be a bit different from what got Apple in trouble. Amazon is not negotiating fixed prices with the largest publishers as a group, at least I haven't seen any evidence of that. Instead, what it's saying to each of these large publishers is that they can set their own retail prices for their ebooks, and Amazon won't discount those retail prices like it discounts the price for virtually every other product it sells, including paper books. In addition, Amazon's contract each publisher says that the publisher can't sell its ebooks through any other outlet at a price lower than the price it set on Amazon.
Europe has different antitrust laws than the US, and Amazon got into trouble there. That doesn't mean Amazon can't use the same approach in the US that got them into trouble in Europe. In fact, it seems unlikely unless the Congress changes US antitrust law. The states and Feds have been investigating Amazon for years without taking any antitrust enforcement action under current law. As for the new class action suit, it seems to be a long shot.
Okay, I get it now. In the same way that the big five pay huge sums to bookstores for prime selling space and ad placement in bookstores, Amazon set up contracts for the big five to pay huge commissions to take advantage of Amazon's ad software the maximise visibility. These extra commissions have caused the publishers to increase their prices and pass the cost to consumers. Before these contracts, prices to consumers were dropping due to the apple antitrust case
It's been known for some time they have been doing this and this service is not available to us mere mortals, probably because we couldn't afford it. They chose to milk us with AMS instead which has caused many to increase prices.
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