Apple denies DoJ allegations of collusion, says it broke up Amazon monopoly

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014


Apple has spoken out against the U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit filed against the company earlier this week, noting that the launch of its iBookstore actually broke "Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry."



Spokesman Tom Neumayr provided a comment to All things D on Friday in defense of Apple's actions.



"The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true," he said. "The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry.



"Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore."



The Justice Department lodged its antitrust complaint against Apple and several book publishers on Wednesday after having first warned the companies of its intent to sue. The government agency alleges that Apple conspired with the publishers to enter an "agency model" for e-book sales and abandon Amazon's "wholesale model." The agency model allows the publishers to set their own prices for books, while the wholesale model let booksellers set prices.











Amazon established an early lead in the e-book market with its Kindle store, but it eventually became at odds with publishers because of its willingness to sell e-books at a loss. Publishing executives reportedly feared that the discounted books would have an impact on hardback pricing.



Court filings have revealed that Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins have settled with the agency. As such, Penguin and Macmillan are the only two publishers left in the suit. Macmillan CEO John Sargent said the DoJ's terms were "too onerous" to accept.



Legal experts have said the Justice Department is unlikely to win against Apple, noting that it has a better case against the publishers. According to one antitrust professor, the government will need to show Apple "had some kind of involvement in the original arrangement" to win against Apple.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • realwarderrealwarder Posts: 131member
    Rather than letting the market sort itself out, Apple worked with publishers to make book pricing more expensive by denying Amazon the ability to sell books at the prices it wanted to.



    Sounds antitrust practice to me. Anyone was free to see books cheaper than Amazon and gain market share. It's not like the publishers were loosing money! They got their price whatever Amazon sold a book for.



    Personally I dislike spin.



    The people who lost out from this whole shenanigans was us, the consumer. That is why this is being investigated.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    Rather than letting the market sort itself out, Apple worked with publishers to make book pricing more expensive by denying Amazon the ability to sell books at the prices it wanted to.



    Sounds antitrust practice to me. Anyone was free to see books cheaper than Amazon and gain market share. It's not like the publishers were loosing money! They got their price whatever Amazon sold a book for.



    Personally I dislike spin.



    The people who lost out from this whole shenanigans was us, the consumer. That is why this is being investigated.









    I checked your posting history. You never have anything good to say about Apple.
  • boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,117member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    I checked your posting history. You never have anything good to say about Apple.



    Why not actually critique his comment, rather than making an oblique slur of the poster?



    I think of myself as a consumer, not an Apple apologist, and, frankly, I pay more for ebooks since Apple magnanimously "broke up" that mean old Amazon "monopoly".



    Speak to that very valid point or continue to forego credibility.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    Rather than letting the market sort itself out, Apple worked with publishers to make book pricing more expensive...



    That's a pretty big accusation your presenting as fact without a single shred of evidence to back it up.



    Maybe the DoJ should also investigate the same agency model Apple used for their App Store because those App Store apps are so expensive¡
  • sflocalsflocal Posts: 3,382member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    Rather than letting the market sort itself out, Apple worked with publishers to make book pricing more expensive by denying Amazon the ability to sell books at the prices it wanted to.



    Sounds antitrust practice to me. Anyone was free to see books cheaper than Amazon and gain market share. It's not like the publishers were loosing money! They got their price whatever Amazon sold a book for.



    Personally I dislike spin.



    The people who lost out from this whole shenanigans was us, the consumer. That is why this is being investigated.



    Sounds like you need to add an extra layer of tinfoil to that hat of yours.



    This was all about Amazon. Just check out their history before Apple got into the game and it's very apparent that Amazon was the bully.



    Go spin elsewhere.
  • gadgetdongadgetdon Posts: 46member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    Rather than letting the market sort itself out, Apple worked with publishers to make book pricing more expensive by denying Amazon the ability to sell books at the prices it wanted to.



    Sounds antitrust practice to me. Anyone was free to see books cheaper than Amazon and gain market share. It's not like the publishers were loosing money! They got their price whatever Amazon sold a book for.



    Personally I dislike spin.



    The people who lost out from this whole shenanigans was us, the consumer. That is why this is being investigated.



    Except Amazon was using its profitability from other markets to sell books below its cost, and it's strength as a traditional book publisher to give it the deal it wanted on ebooks (you do what we want or else all your books disappear from our site, including the paperbacks and hardbacks). Amazon is so significant in the traditional book selling market, that's a serious threat.



    If the DoJ was also looking at Amazon's behavior, setting limits on its ability to sell below cost which keeps others from entering the market, I'd have more sympathy. But instead, it's "Bezos, you're set free - oh and we're making sure that the publishers all get different contract renewal dates so every negotiation is just you against them."



    Selling below cost and bullying suppliers to give you a deal others can't get is a traditional means of building a monopoly. And once the monopoly is solidified, hold onto those memories of those low prices because that's all you'll get.
  • applebirdapplebird Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    I checked your posting history. You never have anything good to say about Apple.



    DITTO's
  • realwarderrealwarder Posts: 131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    That's a pretty big accusation your presenting as fact without a single shred of evidence to back it up.



    Maybe the DoJ should also investigate the same agency model Apple used for their App Store because those App Store apps are so expensive¡





    I think you'll find there's basis for the 16 states making these claims and causing the government to investigate this. If there were no facts or evidence, do you think that some of the companies involved would have now already paid fines to settle this... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04...suit_for_cash/
  • flippyscflippysc Posts: 34member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    Rather than letting the market sort itself out, Apple worked with publishers to make book pricing more expensive by denying Amazon the ability to sell books at the prices it wanted to.



    Sounds antitrust practice to me. Anyone was free to see books cheaper than Amazon and gain market share. It's not like the publishers were loosing money! They got their price whatever Amazon sold a book for.



    Personally I dislike spin.



    The people who lost out from this whole shenanigans was us, the consumer. That is why this is being investigated.



    I see -- I think. This reads like someone needs to brush up on the English before posting. You lost me at the loosing money.
  • redbarchettaredbarchetta Posts: 149member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    I checked your posting history. You never have anything good to say about Apple.



    Poisoning the well fallacy.
  • anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    ... The people who lost out from this whole shenanigans was us, the consumer. ...



    This kind of short-term thinking represents everything that's wrong with this country. Readers might be paying a few dollars more for books, but Amazon's monopoly position in the publishing industry was untenable. Allowing it to continue, which is what the DoJ action seeks to do, will eliminate competition in book retailing, and, as a result, will eventually result in Amazon controlling not only how much we pay for all books, traditional and e-books, but even what gets published. And $9.99 isn't going to last. Remember how overpriced Kindles were when there was no competition in the e-reader market. That's where e-book prices will eventually go if the DoJ succeeds in their effort to install Amazon as a government sanctioned monopoly of the publishing industry, end-to-end.
  • tcaseytcasey Posts: 198member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    Rather than letting the market sort itself out, Apple worked with publishers to make book pricing more expensive by denying Amazon the ability to sell books at the prices it wanted to.



    Sounds antitrust practice to me. Anyone was free to see books cheaper than Amazon and gain market share. It's not like the publishers were loosing money! They got their price whatever Amazon sold a book for.



    Personally I dislike spin.



    The people who lost out from this whole shenanigans was us, the consumer. That is why this is being investigated.



    If amazon sell books at a loss and other companies cant compete then long term there will one player selling ebooks...i.e Amazon..so amazon wins not the book industry it will in fact leave no industry.



    If on top of that ebooks are so cheap that people dont buy real books then the book publishers will lose...



    The book publishers need to make a profit protect there interest just like amazon and apple do.



    Amazon is also looking to become a book publisher.
  • cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    This kind of short-term thinking represents everything that's wrong with this country. Readers might be paying a few dollars more for books, but Amazon's monopoly position in the publishing industry was untenable. Allowing it to continue, which is what the DoJ action seeks to do, will eliminate competition in book retailing, and, as a result, will eventually result in Amazon controlling not only how much we pay for all books, traditional and e-books, but even what gets published. And $9.99 isn't going to last. Remember how overpriced Kindles were when there was no competition in the e-reader market. That's where e-book prices will eventually go if the DoJ succeeds in their effort to install Amazon as a government sanctioned monopoly of the publishing industry, end-to-end.



    If amazon is achieving the monoply, and/or using said monopoly illegally, then they can do whatever they want to amazon.



    None of this actually matters. This is all about the (alleged) illegal activities of publishers and apple. Pointing fingers at others saying 'yeah, but they were doing something bad too' is noit a valid defensive strategy.
  • anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boredumb View Post


    Why not actually critique his comment, rather than making an oblique slur of the poster?



    Because ZZZ is a troll, posting under a few aliases, even replying to his own posts, but he isn't getting much traction with the regular posters here because they are mostly on to him, so now he's going after the infrequent flyers, hoping to sucker them in. ZZZ, thy name is tekstud, or legion, as you prefer.
  • realwarderrealwarder Posts: 131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    This kind of short-term thinking represents everything that's wrong with this country. Readers might be paying a few dollars more for books, but Amazon's monopoly position in the publishing industry was untenable. Allowing it to continue, which is what the DoJ action seeks to do, will eliminate competition in book retailing, and, as a result, will eventually result in Amazon controlling not only how much we pay for all books, traditional and e-books, but even what gets published. And $9.99 isn't going to last. Remember how overpriced Kindles were when there was no competition in the e-reader market. That's where e-book prices will eventually go if the DoJ succeeds in their effort to install Amazon as a government sanctioned monopoly of the publishing industry, end-to-end.



    There are two paths forward there. One, that Amazon gains more than an 80% market share, in which case it is a monopoly itself and would be subject to investigation. Second, that if Amazon were to raise prices, that competition would lower prices and gain back market share.



    The Internet has a different model that is much more self-regulating when it comes to pricing due to the simplicity of entering the market space. Trust me, if it was simple to compete with Comcast, I'd have 50 companies lined up offering cheaper internet access. Online it is simple to compete. So prices stay low unless people fix the rules.



    I speak out of personal annoyance that book prices rose. I.e. I paid more for ebooks after the iPad was released. Not sure why I'm being attacked for thinking I got a bad deal out of this mess.
  • bsgincbsginc Posts: 78member
    Comment made to wrong poster
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    I think you'll find there's basis for the 16 states making these claims and causing the government to investigate this. If there were no facts or evidence, do you think that some of the companies involved would have now already paid fines to settle this... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04...suit_for_cash/



    1) So being sued is now proof of guilt. Awesome logic¡



    2) 3 publishers settled, but that doesn't mean they are guilty, it means they felt it was cheaper to go that route. let's not forget that Apple et al. did not settle, but because 1 or more did in your mind all of them plus Apple were in a secret meeting? Again, where is your proof?



    3) Now lets assume for a second the publishers that did settle are actually guilty does that mean Apple or other publishers are guilty of colluding, too, or are you suggesting that Apple is guilty for creating an agency model? I guess that means sporting good stores are guilty of robbing banks simply because they sell ski masks.
  • ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 2,561member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    I think you'll find there's basis for the 16 states making these claims and causing the government to investigate this. If there were no facts or evidence, do you think that some of the companies involved would have now already paid fines to settle this... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04...suit_for_cash/



    Since when does one party settling mean that another party is guilty? If you actually sat down to think about things you could come up with all sorts of possibilities.



    It's already well known fact that the publishers met by themselves without Apple present. The three publishers who settled could have been the very first to meet, and so would be considered the ring leaders who then brought the other publishers and Apple in. Or there could be more evidence against them.



    Another way to look at it is this: Two of the publishers and Apple are going to fight the DoJ. Doesn't that at least make you wonder what evidence they have and why they would choose to proclaim innocence and fight? Do you think they're stupid? Do you think their lawyers are stupid? I'd love to hear your reason as to why they decided to fight, considering you seem to "know" they're guilty.
  • ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 2,561member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    The Internet has a different model that is much more self-regulating when it comes to pricing due to the simplicity of entering the market space. Trust me, if it was simple to compete with Comcast, I'd have 50 companies lined up offering cheaper internet access. Online it is simple to compete. So prices stay low unless people fix the rules.



    LOLWUT?



    You think you could compete with Amazon and others online? Do you have the buying power Amazon does to negotiate the lowest possible prices from your suppliers? Do you have numerous revenue streams that would allow you to take a loss in one area and make it up in another?



    Your post sounds like one of those "I make $10,000 a month on the Internet and you can to if you buy my book" ads.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post


    Since when does one party settling mean that another party is guilty? If you actually sat down to think about things you could come up with all sorts of possibilities.



    It's already well known fact that the publishers met by themselves without Apple present. The three publishers who settled could have been the very first to meet, and so would be considered the ring leaders who then brought the other publishers and Apple in. Or there could be more evidence against them.



    Another way to look at it is this: Two of the publishers and Apple are going to fight the DoJ. Doesn't that at least make you wonder what evidence they have and why they would choose to proclaim innocence and fight? Do you think they're stupid? Do you think their lawyers are stupid? I'd love to hear your reason as to why they decided to fight, considering you seem to "know" they're guilty.



    Stop making sense, you'll confuse people.
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