I choose to believe that their decision isn’t influenced by the ebook pricing investigations that have just started in Europe, And last month’s similar investigation into ebook pricing in the UK, and the relationships between publishers and retailers.
“The regulators said it carried out “unannounced inspections” at ebook publishing companies in several member states because it has reason to believe they may have ‘violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and other restrictive practices’. European officials were accompanied by local competition regulators.”
But, as proof that some publishers can see the bigger picture, Random House UK is staunchly non-agency. I believe Random House in Australia isn’t agency either – which is probably the reason their books aren’t in the iBooks catalogue (someone correct me if I’m wrong on that). The Bookseller reports that a spokesperson for RH UK said:
“New commercial models in the fast changing e-book environment are constantly under review. Across our territories—not least in the UK—we continue to evaluate our options and talk to all e-tailers as it is our mission to ensure that our authors’ books are available on all platforms to all potential customers.”
That probably means “we’re going to wait to see if the other get prosecuted”, but still – they haven’t succumbed yet. Good on them.