DoJ reportedly planning antitrust suit against Apple, publishers over e-books

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Comments

  • hill60hill60 Posts: 6,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    I find it truly rich that they think a Publisher delaying a digital book to allow a hardbound book to get some traction is somehow illegal.



    The Publisher always dictates whether it's hardbound, paperback and/or digital. Sorry but there is no teeth on that.



    When are they going to apply the same rules to the movie industry?



    Simultaneous release to cinemas, DVD rentals, cable companies and free to air TV should be enforced by the DOJ based on this definition of illegal.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    I find it truly rich that they think a Publisher delaying a digital book to allow a hardbound book to get some traction is somehow illegal.



    The Publisher always dictates whether it's hardbound, paperback and/or digital. Sorry but there is no teeth on that.



    You need to familiarize yourself with just what the concerns are. It's not what you would make them to be.



    Here's the EU concerns and why they've had an ongoing investigation:

    http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleases...guiLanguage=en



    and the US:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...63e24cf6a6.5c1
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drobforever View Post


    I agree both companies are trying to shut out competition. But the end results are different. Amazon's way can drive away competition, but at the same time also sell books at lower prices than what publishers want, while Apple's way can drive away competition and sell books at higher price than customers want.



    Whether the price is higher than the consumers want is totally irrelevant. Consumers don't get to set prices. The consumer's choice is only whether to buy at a given price or not.



    I would love to see someone explain exactly which law Apple is alleged to have broken. If you look at it, it is clear that Amazon broke the law (by fixing prices) while Apple offered an alternative that did away with price fixing by letting the publishers set their own prices.



    And the "but Amazon is cheaper" argument isn't very useful. It's not uncommon for a monopoly to set prices low at first to drive the competition out of the market and then raise prices after they've secured control.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    Apple charging more to pay the publishers more is not the anti-competitive issue here. But Apple also attempted to control what the publishers could charge for their books through other retailers. Remember, MS was determined to be a monopoly, so you can't really compare the two anit-trust cases. This potential case is not about an abuse of a monopoly because neither Apple nor any one individual publisher is in a monopoly position, but about collusion and price fixing.



    If you go back to when iBooks was first unveiled and we learned of the terms Apple arranged, myself and others suspected that this type of arrangement might get Apple into hot water. I'm really not surprised at all that this has gotten the attention of the DoJ.



    There's nothing illegal about a deal which says "you can't sell the same product cheaper to anyone else".



    Please explain what law Apple has broken by allowing publishers choose their own pricing.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    You need to familiarize yourself with just what the concerns are. It's not what you would make them to be.



    Here's the EU concerns and why they've had an ongoing investigation:

    http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleases...guiLanguage=en



    and the US:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...63e24cf6a6.5c1



    It's interesting that neither of those articles says anything about what Apple has done that's illegal or what law they've broken. There's a lot of innuendo, but nothing in the way of facts.



    So what law has Apple broken? Specifically.
  • neothetaneotheta Posts: 16member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    When are they going to apply the same rules to the movie industry?



    Simultaneous release to cinemas, DVD rentals, cable companies and free to air TV should be enforced by the DOJ based on this definition of illegal.



    Yet another brilliant move by Steven P. Jobs.



    Movie Industry has an outdated business model that they are unwilling to part with... agitate the DOJ on that business model. Force the DOJ to bring an antitrust lawsuit to get that business model declared an antitrust violation...



    While there is a potential cost to Apple the benefit of forcing change on the entire entertainment industry will be huge.
  • jdwjdw Posts: 300member
    Anti-Trust Laws are unnecessary and actually harmful to the market and the end consumer:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...78685983789002



    (Video is from 1983, with Ron Paul and Prof. Dominick T. Armentano. Worth your time.)
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    It's interesting that neither of those articles says anything about what Apple has done that's illegal or what law they've broken. There's a lot of innuendo, but nothing in the way of facts.



    So what law has Apple broken? Specifically.



    This is an investigation. They haven't brought charges at this point, which would be the big reason you don't see them formally accused of anything illegal. . . yet. When the investigation is terminated, and if Apple and the publishers haven't already offered to make changes to avoid any possible charges, then you'll see what the EU/US has in mind. Perhaps nothing. Perhaps a high-profile antitrust lawsuit, maybe even on both continents.



    I would expect changes and a settlement suggestion from Apple before it gets to that stage. They've obviously been warned.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,320member
    This is non-sense. The arrangement Apple has isn't that much different than many industries, so will the department of justice now shut down all these other businesses too?



    The other thing here is that this arrangement actually increases competition. Anybody with the resources can enter the business knowing full well that the playing field is level.
  • lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Amazon had consistently upset publishers by selling titles at a loss.





    Clearly having the publishers lose money is a the way to go - why would they want to mess that up?
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    This is non-sense. The arrangement Apple has isn't that much different than many industries, so will the department of justice now shut down all these other businesses too?



    The other thing here is that this arrangement actually increases competition. Anybody with the resources can enter the business knowing full well that the playing field is level.



    You mean the book publishers in concert with Apple have already agreed to not compete on pricing and refuse to sell to any retailer who would sell at a lower price, therefor a level playing field for them?



    Here's what is claimed to be wrong with Apple's plan:

    "We told the publishers, 'We'll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway,'" Mr. Jobs was quoted as saying by his biographer, Walter Isaacson.



    The publishers were then able to impose the same model across the industry, Mr. Jobs told Mr. Isaacson. "They went to Amazon and said, 'You're going to sign an agency contract or we're not going to give you the books,' " Mr. Jobs said."



    Unfortunate that the quotes were directly attributed to Mr. Jobs and frankly I'm darn surprised that he saw no issues with the plan. In hindsight, colluding with publishers to set prices and deny other seller's the right to market books at their own prices should be an obvious red flag to Apple. Perhaps not the best decision if they had it to do over IMHO



    "The Justice Department believes that Apple and the publishers acted in concert to raise prices across the industry, and is prepared to sue them for violating federal antitrust laws, the people familiar with the matter said."
  • john f.john f. Posts: 80member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post


    Amazon had consistently upset publishers by selling titles at a loss.





    Clearly having the publishers lose money is a the way to go - why would they want to mess that up?



    That's right. Being competitive apparently means selling at a loss, or at near zero margin. Being anti-competitive apparently means making money to not go broke.



    What if publishers don't sell the books to Amazon anymore, but sell them directly to consumers, like Apple does? Oh no, that's also anti-competitive.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    This is an investigation. They haven't brought charges at this point, which would be the big reason you don't see them formally accused of anything illegal. . . yet. When the investigation is terminated, and if Apple and the publishers haven't already offered to make changes to avoid any possible charges, then you'll see what the EU/US has in mind. Perhaps nothing. Perhaps a high-profile antitrust lawsuit, maybe even on both continents.



    I would expect changes and a settlement suggestion from Apple before it gets to that stage. They've obviously been warned.



    Yet you're suggesting that Apple has done something illegal. I'm not asking what charges the DoJ will file, I'm asking you to provide the justification for your endless anti-Apple tirades. What laws do you believe that Apple has broken?
  • adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,713member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John F. View Post


    That's right. Being competitive apparently means selling at a loss, or at near zero margin. Being anti-competitive apparently means making money to not go broke.



    What if publishers don't sell the books to Amazon anymore, but sell them directly to consumers, like Apple does? Oh no, that's also anti-competitive.



    I can't tell you how many times I have bought directly from the publisher thanks to Apple. I never buy books from Amazon anymore. Hell I don't even buy them from iBooks. I just go to the publisher's website and have a party.
  • adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,713member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    You mean the book publishers in concert with Apple have already agreed to not compete on pricing and refuse to sell to any retailer who would sell at a lower price, therefor a level playing field for them?



    Here's what is claimed to be wrong with Apple's plan:

    "We told the publishers, 'We'll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway,'" Mr. Jobs was quoted as saying by his biographer, Walter Isaacson.



    The publishers were then able to impose the same model across the industry, Mr. Jobs told Mr. Isaacson. "They went to Amazon and said, 'You're going to sign an agency contract or we're not going to give you the books,' " Mr. Jobs said."



    Unfortunate that the quotes were directly attributed to Mr. Jobs and frankly I'm darn surprised that he saw no issues with the plan. In hindsight, colluding with publishers to set prices and deny other seller's the right to market books at their own prices should be an obvious red flag to Apple. Perhaps not the best decision if they had it to do over IMHO



    "The Justice Department believes that Apple and the publishers acted in concert to raise prices across the industry, and is prepared to sue them for violating federal antitrust laws, the people familiar with the matter said."



    So basically Amazon had been anti competitive. In comes Apple to save the day. Now Apple anti competitive because they let the publisher's set the price of their own books. The agency model is how it should always have been. Before I started working in a publishing company I had no idea what was going on. The DOJ needs to do more research on this issue. I am actually shocked they didn't bring a similar law suit against Amazon several years ago.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JDW View Post


    Anti-Trust Laws are unnecessary and actually harmful to the market and the end consumer:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...78685983789002



    (Video is from 1983, with Ron Paul and Prof. Dominick T. Armentano. Worth your time.)



    Ron Paul knows nothing about antitrust. He's not an antitrust lawyer or economist, the last I checked. Don't shill for politicians here, please.
  • jdwjdw Posts: 300member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Ron Paul knows nothing about antitrust. He's not an antitrust lawyer or economist, the last I checked. Don't shill for politicians here, please.



    It's 100% clear you did not watch the video. Had you watched it, you would have seen that the man doing most of the talking was Professor Dominick T. Armentano, an expert on economics and well researched on Anti-Trust and its implications. Do your homework before you speak.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Yet you're suggesting that Apple has done something illegal. I'm not asking what charges the DoJ will file, I'm asking you to provide the justification for your endless anti-Apple tirades. What laws do you believe that Apple has broken?



    Huh (and which ones were the anti-Apple tirades)? This is the DoJ's opinion



    BTW, I had asked you before if you were a lawyer. You leave readers with the impression you are. If so, what's your specialty?
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JDW View Post


    It's 100% clear you did not watch the video. Had you watched it, you would have seen that the man doing most of the talking was Professor Dominick T. Armentano, an expert on economics and well researched on Anti-Trust and its implications. Do your homework before you speak.



    Of course not. I cannot be bothered to watch every video and read every link that is trotted out here.



    If you think it's worth our time to do so, how about you take the time to summarize Prof. Armentano's arguments, so that we can decide whether to view it to learn more or not?
  • jdwjdw Posts: 300member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Of course not. I cannot be bothered to watch every video and read every link that is trotted out here.



    But you can be bothered enough to bash others for posting links? Preposterous!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    If you think it's worth our time to do so, how about you take the time to summarize Prof. Armentano's arguments, so that we can decide whether to view it to learn more or not?



    You are just being argumentative here. I gave you the summary in my original post. It is as plain as day.
  • synergisynergi Posts: 31member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    So an agency model is illegal? Apple taking 30% instead of Amazon taking 70% is illegal? Am I missing something here because it sounds like Amazon was the one trying to shut out any competition and controlling both customers and publishers?



    You need to know why Amazon got 70%. The standard break Down was the retailer got 35% and the distributor got 35%. Amazon just happen to be both, retailer and distributor, so it got paid for both rolls, which was the standard at the time.
  • john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,581member
    Makes. No. Sense.



    The only ebook publisher with monopoly power is Amazon.
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