Orange County Register on the Apple E-Book Case

The Orange County Register’s editorial board shares my skepticism of the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Apple. In an otherwise-excellent editorial, they also quote me:

“You could actually say that Apple is bringing more competition to the market, not less,” through its deals with the book publishers, Ryan Young told us. He’s a fellow in regulatory studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “It gives Apple a foothold in the market, instead of there just being two e-book players, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The cost of producing e-books is close to zero, just a few electrons. So what’s the correct way to price e-books? I don’t know. The Department of Justice doesn’t know. Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble don’t know, either. Nobody knows. Only the market can sort it out as consumers express their preferences.”

Antitrust is a blunt instrument for something that changes as fast as an economy. Especially when it’s wielded by people who suffer from Certainty with a capital C.


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