The Connecticut attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, has opened up an investigation into whether or not the deals Amazon and Apple have cut with publishers for the sale of e-books have violated any sort of rules of regulations. The fear is that the deals Amazon and Apple have worked out with top publishers may lock out other companies from entering the e-book business.
Blumenthal said that Apple and Amazon’s “most favored nation” deals with publishers like Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins could block others (think Barnes & Noble, Borders, Sony, etc.) from being able to properly compete on an even keel.
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 anti-consumer impacts. This restriction blocks cheaper and competitive prices for consumers.
Is there anything to the complaint? Well, that’s why there will be an investigation.