Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Apr 2012 11:00 UTC
Legal "The Justice Department could sue Apple as early as Wednesday over alleged electronic book price-fixing, while settling with several publishers as early as this week, two people familiar with the matter said." I feel safe already. Update: ...and we have lift-off.
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Pretty damning Steve Jobs quote:
by MollyC on Wed 11th Apr 2012 17:50 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

I just read an "analysis" of this case at The Verge.
http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/11/2941053/inside-the-dojs-ebook-pri...

According to the article, here is part of what Steve Jobs said to publishers with whom Apple is accused of colluding:
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Jobs also knew that the agency model would serve to raise prices, saying, "you set the price, and we get our 30 percent, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway."
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Edited 2012-04-11 17:52 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Jesuspower Member since:
2006-01-28

just raising prices isn't a sin. seriously, what did they do wrong? Like actually wrong?

Reply Score: 1

Feanor Member since:
2006-12-21

"In the United States, price fixing can be prosecuted as a criminal federal offense under section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing#Legal_status_in_the_Unite...

Reply Score: 5

tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

No, but colluding to set prices is an antitrust violation. It's a very fine line.

This case is clearly designed to test Leegin v. PSKS (2007), which struck down the prohibition on vertical price agreements that had stood for almost a century. But Leegin was a 5-4 decision, and Justice Kennedy's majority opinion left a tantalizing opening by stating that "Resale price maintenance … can also be abused by a powerful manufacturer or retailer."

The DOJ has been waiting for a test case, and they've apparently concluded that a better one is not going to show up. How much more powerful can you get than Apple?

It all comes down to Justice Kennedy. Whichever way he decides will be the "5" side of the resulting 5-4 decision.

Edited 2012-04-11 20:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

just raising prices isn't a sin. seriously, what did they do wrong? Like actually wrong?


There would be nothing wrong with this probably except that they are dictating prices for third parties. Lets suppose you are one of the publishers. Its alright for you to set your own price you want to sell at. Its probably even ok for you to talk about it with other companies and all agree on a price you want to sell at. It is absolutely not ok for you to collude with others about what I am allowed to sell the book for. I being Amazon in this case. Amazon has the right to sell for a loss if they desire, which they did. This deal prevents Amazon from operating in a free market.

Reply Score: 6

Apple isn't alone
by jefro on Wed 11th Apr 2012 19:45 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

Seems all the big players are in the mix, not just Apple. Going to hard to tackle a company with some $600B in cash. The US attorneys ought to settle. The result is the poor consumer will end up paying for all of this anyway. My DSL went up the day after I get a letter to join a class action. Huh!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Apple isn't alone
by TechGeek on Wed 11th Apr 2012 20:50 UTC in reply to "Apple isn't alone"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Seems all the big players are in the mix, not just Apple. Going to hard to tackle a company with some $600B in cash. The US attorneys ought to settle. The result is the poor consumer will end up paying for all of this anyway. My DSL went up the day after I get a letter to join a class action. Huh!


First off, its $100 B in cash on hand. Second, three publishers have already settled without contest, i am sure providing the evidence to convict the rest. Third, even $600B is nothing compared to the trillions of dollars our government spends annually.

Finally, the reason your prices went up on ebooks is because of crap like this deal. Someone needs to take a few whacks at Apple and the publishers for being greedy whores.

Reply Score: 6

US v. Microsoft
by tanzam75 on Wed 11th Apr 2012 20:21 UTC
tanzam75
Member since:
2011-05-19

The comparison to US v. Microsoft is very apt indeed.

This is an election year. If Romney wins, then the new DOJ will likely put an end to the lawsuit launched by the Obama DOJ.

Reply Score: 2

where's the authors here?
by bnolsen on Wed 11th Apr 2012 20:45 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

Nice to see the middle men and the point of sale guys colluding to up the prices. I don't see mention of the people who actually make this industry happen: the authors.

The first problem are these "middle men". Hollywood, big publishing, big media. The biggest benefit of the internet is that it should ideally kill these middle men off.

I've heard some stories about how ugly these middle men publishers get with trying to punish and bully writers who want to move towards self publishing with amazon. Thse guys just have to go.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/17/technology/amazon-rewrites-the-ru...

http://pandodaily.com/2012/01/17/confessions-of-a-publisher-were-in...

Edited 2012-04-11 20:49 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: where's the authors here?
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 11th Apr 2012 20:50 UTC in reply to "where's the authors here?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I've heard some stories about how ugly these middle men publishers get with trying to punish and bully writers who want to move towards self publishing with amazon. Thse guys just have to go.


Exactly. Apple should stop being one of those middlemen - on whatever media, including applications.

Or was that not what you had in mind?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: where's the authors here?
by bnolsen on Wed 11th Apr 2012 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE: where's the authors here?"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Nah, apple isn't a middle man. It seems they are bad for their role in exploiting these faltering middle men for their own gains.

Amazon seems to have been doing it right: They've been actually going to the source: the writers themselves in order to entirely cut the middle men out. In the end both amazon and the writers come out ahead regarding their takes.

With the apple deal, only apple and the publishers come out ahead. The authors aren't even in the picture.

The fun question is: if amazon "turns bad", do the new market dynamics started by amazon allow these authors to more freely go somewhere else?

The end result we all want is for good written materials by any author to be able to get to readers in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Edited 2012-04-11 21:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Apple? What about Amazon?
by benali72 on Wed 11th Apr 2012 22:55 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

Really an odd move, when everyone knows that Amazon is the one that merits investigation. Google it and you'll see a ton more background on accusations of this kind of behavior by Amazon in regards to e-books. Amazon nearly controls the market in the U.S. and pushes around authors, indies, and pubs at will on e-book pricing.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Apple? What about Amazon?
by cyrilleberger on Thu 12th Apr 2012 05:50 UTC in reply to "Apple? What about Amazon?"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

There is no law on bullying your partners for lowering their price. However, there are laws on price agreement. This is why Amazon can keep bullying people to get lowered price while Apple and publishers cannot make an agreement on price.

Reply Score: 3