Affordable textbooks in peril: Publishers sue bookstore chain for ignoring ‘best practices’

Costs $25 to make, sold for $150 to students who have no choice

Textbook prices have been skyrocketing over the past several years, and a trio of publishers plans to keep it that way.

Cengage, McGraw-Hill and Pearson Education are taking aim at a textbook distributor that refused to adopt their “best practices” to stop the sale of counterfeits, but the bigger victims may be students who have to look harder to find affordable textbooks.

The publishers devised a set of anti-counterfeiting principles a few months ago and got distributors Ingram and Chegg to adopt them.

In spite of their website’s claim that distributors are “encouraged” to adopt the practices, the publishers sued Follett – which operates college bookstores across the country – for copyright and trademark violations when negotiations broke down.

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