Amid a barrage of largely puzzled and angry reactions within the book publishing community to the antitrust lawsuit the Department of Justice filed on Wednesday alleging five of the largest publishers colluded with Apple to fix e-book prices, the American Booksellers Association told PW it found the government's action "baffling." Oren Teicher, CEO for the ABA, touted the effectiveness of the agency model and added that the ruling, if anything, will quash competition among retailers in the e-book market.
Teicher, reached on Wednesday, gave this reaction to the ruling: "Today's DoJ filing is baffling. Following the implementation of the agency model at the end of 2010, the e-book market has become more competitive. There is more-- not less--competition among retailers, and more--not fewer--examples of marketing and promotional efforts among publishers that have reduced prices. For the Department of Justice to challenge a business model that played an essential role in fostering a more competitive, diverse retail environment seems to turn logic on its head and is not in the best interest of consumers. While it's not yet clear what the full implications are of the legal action announced today by the DoJ with regard to publishers' pricing models for e-books, we believe one fact is very clear: There is nothing inherently illegal about the agency model, and--as ABA has strongly said in the past--we believe that fostering a more competitive environment is in the long term best interests of readers and book buyers."