SALT LAKE CITY — Book prices will go up if the Justice Department follows through with its proposed settlement with several major book publishers, Barnes & Noble said in a statement.
"We think that the Department of Justice got this wrong," Gene DeFelice, Barnes & Noble's general counsel, told The New York Times' Media Decoder in an interview. "The settlement destroys independently negotiated commercial relationships. It harms authors, innocent publishers and bookstores, including small-business owners. And it also punishes consumers who stand to benefit from increased competition and lower prices brought about by the agency model."
In April, the Justice Department announced it was filing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five book publishers, charging them with colluding to raise e-book prices, according to the article. The Justice Department said it had come to a tentative agreement with HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and the Hachette Book Group.
If the settlement is approved, it will result in higher overall prices on e-books and hardcover books, a cost that will be passed on to consumers, the company said in the statement on Thursday.