Navigating the Thrilling and/or Treacherous Amazon

Random House first edition (1967) of the Marshall McLuhan classic.Sometimes you have to wonder if existing laws are making justice impossible.  Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which enabled (and arguably encouraged) George Zimmerman to murder Trayvon Martin without criminal penalty, is this week’s most dramatic example.  In the book world, we have the DOJ’s successful prosecution of Apple for price-fixing.

What did Apple do?  Conspired with the half-dozen largest book publishers (who reached separate out-of-court settlements) to stop Amazon from undercutting their e-book sales by setting its own prices under $10.  Amazon currently holds a boa-constrictor monopoly in e-book publishing; but since it’s a single corporation (for purposes of this case), it can fix prices legally.  No conspiracy involved, so no threat to consumers, right?