For the next two years, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will be free to dictate the price of eBooks across much of the publishing industry.
That, more or less, is what we can take away from the antitrust suit the Department of Justice filed yesterday against Apple and five major publishing houses, which alleges that they colluded in 2009 to raise the price eBooks and stop Amazon from using steep discounts to lure customers . Already, three publishers have settled on terms so friendly to Amazon that, as Wired's Tim Carmody put it, Bezos should send the attorney general an early Christmas card. Two more are still fighting the case, along with Apple. But there's little doubt about what the outcome will be for the book world.