You may have seen the articles about the Agency Pricing model for e-books. This is widespread in the USA but until 1 November did not exist in the UK. Those who follow such things may recall that the Net Book Agreement was abolished back in the mid 1990s. This agreement allowed publishers to dictate the price at which books were sold by retailers.
This was abandoned before it was ruled to be illegal and anti-competitive. Now some publishers - most notably the Hachette group which includes such big names as Penguin and Harper Collins - are saying that anyone selling their e-books, whatever format, must sell them at the price dictated by the publisher - i.e. retailers are acting as the publisher's agents and selling on their behalf.
This to me is price fixing under another name and is, I think, illegal in the UK under EU and UK law. Even if it is illegal it would seem that the publishers are likely to shoot themselves in the foot with this as in some cases the e-book price is turning out to be considerably higher than the hardback price. This piece of nonsense arises because retailers can discount hardbacks and paperbacks as much as they like but cannot alter the price of e-books from some publishers.
I'm aware both publishers and authors need to make a living and like most people who read I have no problem paying a fair price for a book I want to read. Ultimately I shall do with e-books what I have always done with tree books - look at the price for the cheapest format and make my choice accordingly based on whether I want to keep the book or read it once and dispose of it. What I am against is people trying to sell to me at a higher price because it keeps the market dynamic and gives consumers more choice as one publisher tried to say. So making every retailer sell an e-book is giving consumers more choice and keeping the market dynamic? I don't think I'd want him working for me if I was running a company!
I don't see there are any baddies or goodies in this situation - it is just a new market trying to establish itself and stabilise. I shan't be boycotting any publishers but I will be making my book buying decisions based on price and how much I want to read the book concerned. If the price fixed bears some resemblance to the paperback price of the book then I may buy it. If it is way more than the hardback then I shall wait for it to come down or not as the case may be. I read between 250 and 300 books per year. I can't see me running out of e-books to read - many of which are free.