Rory Mir describes what looks like collusion among some academic textbook publishers, on a piece for Electronic Frontier Foundation, ”Inequitable Access: An Anti-Competitive Scheme by Textbook Publishers”.
Some publishers encourage universities to offer only bundled tuition, with digital access to texts included for the course period. That wouldn’t work for lab notebooks, where students write down observations, maybe. Students would buy used texts, or bargain their grades on getting by without them.
Texboooks are not viewed as part of the trade book publishing industry.
He links to an article by the late Elliot Harmon from 2016 about university objection to open education.
Wikipedia picture embed: UC Davis, click for attribution