Re: The publishers were making MORE money under the wholesale agreement
Assertion without fact.
According to the published information, Amazon was consistently selling the books at a penny below wholesale. That means the only viable outlet the publishers had was Amazon. Mom and pop shops couldn't compete because who'd pay them wholesale + reasonable profit for mom and pop? That closes a significant revenue stream. Now, maybe that doesn't matter if 90% of your revenue is from ebooks. But when the ebooks are competing with the paperbacks, hardbacks, and special collectors editions it's a whole different story especially when the bulk of your profits are coming from those sales.
But then having been involved at least peripherally on the backend of the sales of dead tree books I know a bit more about the actual process than you do.