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Random House switches e-book pricing models, clears way for entrance into iBookstore

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Well, it looks like the last major holdout from Apple's iBookstore could soon be joining its rivals on iOS devices -- Random House announced today that it's abandoning its current pricing model for e-books in favor of the so-called "agency pricing" that Apple insists on. That model requires publishers to set the retail prices of their books with the bookseller getting a 30 percent cut of each sale -- as opposed to the traditional wholesale model that lets retailers set the price of books and even sell them at a loss (as Amazon has done in the past). As the Wall Street Journal notes, the agency model has been criticized by some (including Random House previously) for effectively eliminating discounting and guaranteeing retailers a profit on each book they sell. Of course, Random House hasn't yet officially announced that it will be joining the iBookstore ranks, but this news does certainly line up nicely with a little event tomorrow.

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