Penguin Pays Up

Andrew AlbaneseAt a famous trade book publishing house, they say, “the monkey pays the bills.” What they mean is that a perennially successful line of children’s books earns its keep and more. This week, though, we learned that a Penguin has a bill to pay, and it’s a whopper – perhaps as much as $90 million to settle a Dept. of Justice price-fixing lawsuit only weeks before a trial begins.

“The deal is substantially similar to other publisher settlements, except for the hefty price tag. Penguin is paying more than three times what Macmillan had paid, and more than Hachette, Simon and Schuster and HarperCollins paid in their initial settlement combined,” reports Andrew Albanese, senior writer at Publishers Weekly. “They almost certainly paid a premium for having to negotiate a late exit before trial.”

In related court filings, Justice lays out its case against Apple, alleging that the technology titan, was “ringleader” of a horizontal conspiracy to eliminate retail price competition from the e-book market.  Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally that Apple faces charges that it “exploited the publishers’ fears of an Amazon planet to push them—and only in a matter of weeks – into a one-time-only, take-it-or-leave- it deal that seemed too good to pass up.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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