Many pixels have been spilled of late on Barnes & Noble’s downward trajectory*. Needless to say, things aren’t going well right now for the largest bookstore chain in the U.S.
And I think the Department of Justice’s actions against Apple and the five largest U.S. publishers have something to do with it. There are a few factors at play: competition and profits.
Related: Barnes & Noble’s Disappointing Quarter
When many of the largest publishers were working with the ebook retailers under an agency pricing scheme, competition was somewhat leveled between the retailers. The latest best-sellers from large publishers would be the same price no matter where you went. Even if consumers didn’t know this (though I would wager many of them did), they weren’t being told the opposite.
Further, this pricing scheme made retail strategy a bit simpler for Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others. No need to build an apparatus to figure out what the optimal pricing would be for these titles or to do much in the way of monitoring the competition’s pricing.
When agency pricing went away, it forced B&N (and the others) to get in gear when it came to competing on price. And that means resources expended thinking about …read more
Via: Digital Book World