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

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  • anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post


    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.



    It's not about, "they were doing something bad too."



    It's about making a choice: Allow Amazon to kill off all competition in bookselling, which effectively gives them control of the publishers, and who and what gets published and who publishes it, if they are the only place you can sell books. Or, allow a healthy, vibrant publishing and bookselling industry to flourish, so that consumer can choose where to buy books and what they want to read.



    The Amazon scenario that the DoJ is myopically supporting, will result in a future with fewer books, fewer voices, fewer viepoints available at higher cost. The agency model leads to a future were the publishing industry thrives and grows and varied and independent voices are heard, and, in the end, lower prices for consumers than you'll get when Amazon controls everything. We've been headed down the Amazon path for a number of years now and the results so far are pretty bleak. How many publishers have to go out of business, merge, or be acquired, before we wake up and see how Amazon is destroying the publishing industry?



    So, choose. Choose free speech or choose Amazon controlled speech. But, if we make the wrong choice now, we'll pay for it for a very long time.
  • bsgincbsginc Posts: 78member
    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.



    As I understand it, Apple told the publishers that they would pay the publisher of a book 70% of the proceeds from sale of the book, based on the price each publisher set for a book. Apple does not set the actual price. Publishers do. The only pricing requirement was that the price in iBookstore be equal to the lowest price that publishers set for other outlets. Hardly monopolistic practices.



    As for your assertion that Amazon was denied the ability to sell at a lower price, that is not true. Amazon frequently sells books below publisher pricing, even at a loss at times. Selling below publisher pricing is how they built their business. Nothing in the Apple pricing model prevents Amazon from continuing to do that.
  • mgleetmgleet Posts: 28member
    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.



    When it comes to legal stuff, I'm ignorant, I'm not a lawyer. I study Political Science, Marketing, and Film. But to me and my ignorance, it seems like publishers have the right to set prices for their content. We can blame publishers for getting the prices raised and Apple for holding their hands along the way, but I don't think that it's in any way illegal to dictate the terms of distributing content that you own.



    And anyway, it's not like the publishers changed Amazon's pricing. They got Amazon to change its pricing. There's a difference. Amazon agreed to contracts, right? Amazon didn't have to, it could have just not had content to sell. But Amazon obviously felt that selling content at increased prices was better than sticking to its guns. Amazon caved. If Amazon didn't, and the publishers ended up making less money with Apple's business than they did with Amazon's, the publishers would have come crawling back.
  • anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    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.



    At the point were Amazon will raise prices, there won't be any competition. If the DoJ prevails on Amazon's behalf, it won't be that long



    Quote:

    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.



    Again, this is short-sighted and self-centered thought. You know, books aren't just about readers buying them, there are also these people called writers who create them. On the path Amazon is taking the publishing industry, fewer and fewer of these writers, you know, the people who write the books, will be around to actually create something for you to buy. So not only will Amazon jack up prices on you once they've eliminated all competition, there also won't be much to choose from and all the books will begin to seem surprisingly similar.
  • realwarderrealwarder Posts: 131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bsginc View Post


    As I understand it, Apple told the publishers that they would pay the publisher of a book 70% of the proceeds from sale of the book, based on the price each publisher set for a book. Apple does not set the actual price. Publishers do. The only pricing requirement was that the price in iBookstore be equal to the lowest price that publishers set for other outlets. Hardly monopolistic practices.



    As for your assertion that Amazon was denied the ability to sell at a lower price, that is not true. Amazon frequently sells books below publisher pricing, even at a loss at times. Selling below publisher pricing is how they built their business. Nothing in the Apple pricing model prevents Amazon from continuing to do that.



    That was the problem though. By the publishers changing the model to 'set prices for other outlets' (i.e. define the actual selling price), that prevented Amazon from selling below the publishers price. So prices went up.
  • realwarderrealwarder Posts: 131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    You know, books aren't just about readers buying them, there are also these people called writers who create them. On the path Amazon is taking the publishing industry, fewer and fewer of these writers, you know, the people who write the books, will be around to actually create something for you to buy. So not only will Amazon jack up prices on you once they've eliminated all competition, there also won't be much to choose from and all the books will begin to seem surprisingly similar.



    Amazon and Apple have both interestingly taken a similar path recently, which the publishers must be somewhat concerned about. That is that both now enable the writers themselves to self-publish through iBooks or the Amazon book store. This should give us more choice as it is easier for a writer to publish.



    This has pros and cons to writers and consumers, but a clear looser is the publisher. Perhaps both companies thanks for events that have annoyed or tarnished them.
  • realwarderrealwarder Posts: 131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MGLeet View Post


    But to me and my ignorance, it seems like publishers have the right to set prices for their content. We can blame publishers for getting the prices raised and Apple for holding their hands along the way, but I don't think that it's in any way illegal to dictate the terms of distributing content that you own.



    Of course publishers can set their prices to anything. That is normal practice, and typically involves an internal balancing act of rising costs/competitive pricing.



    What is illegal is colluding. Which is what the publishers reportedly did. That removes the competitive part of the equation.
  • nicolbolasnicolbolas Posts: 254member
    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¡



    look at book prices--Amazon charged around $10 per book, if you look at any site that isn't biased towards Apple you realize that.... Apple charged more.



    read the first paragraph of the first section of this



    =.=...



    I wish i had good things to say about Apple/apple fanboys recently, but i really don't.



    Also, did Apple take apps and raise their prices with app makers support so that other app sellers couldn't sell for less? the answer is no.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    What is illegal is colluding. Which is what the publishers reportedly did.



    So you've moved your accusation from "Apple was obvious colluding because 3 publishers settled" to "only the publishers were colluding" with the use of the reportedly qualifier. You honestly can't see how your accusal tone has done a 180 since your first post?
  • mgleetmgleet Posts: 28member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    Of course publishers can set their prices to anything. That is normal practice, and typically involves an internal balancing act of rising costs/competitive pricing.



    What is illegal is colluding. Which is what the publishers reportedly did. That removes the competitive part of the equation.



    Okay, colluding may be illegal. Until the DoJ can prove colluding happened and win, I'm not so sure we can say without a doubt that there was colluding. And even if there was?I'm not saying there was?I don't think what the publishers did should be illegal. I mean, look, they were pissed off at Amazon. If they did get together in an underground lair and agreed on a model that made them happy, and Amazon signed their contracts agreeing to the terms, I personally don't see a whole lot of wrongdoing.



    And what does the DoJ want to get out of this? If they win they can certainly fine the publishers, but can they actually negotiate the terms for the publishers' content? It's a genuine question actually, I don't know.
  • anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    Amazon and Apple have both interestingly taken a similar path recently, which the publishers must be somewhat concerned about. That is that both now enable the writers themselves to self-publish through iBooks or the Amazon book store. This should give us more choice as it is easier for a writer to publish.



    This has pros and cons to writers and consumers, but a clear looser is the publisher. Perhaps both companies thanks for events that have annoyed or tarnished them.



    Unless you are Steven King, self publishing isn't going to get you anywhere and no audience will find you without the promotion that publishers do. That's why a healthy and diverse publishing industry is essential. It's on life support now, and if the DoJ succeeds, Amazon will be pulling the plug in a few years, and we'll all be the poorer for it.
  • constable odoconstable odo Posts: 1,041member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GadgetDon View Post


    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.



    Bezos will always get away scot-free. He's got some sort of aura around him where he can do no wrong. I'm rather certain he has some powerful backers behind his company and they're willing to go to bat for him in Washington. That's one of the reasons why his company can have poor earnings quarters and continue to hold a P/E of around 150. The company is definitely being propped up by very wealthy investors if they can convince the DOJ to ignore the Amazon 95% monopoly and go after Apple with an insignificant e-book market share. Amazon undercutting everyone's prices seems to be a fair business practice all of a sudden.
  • dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    .... It's not like the publishers were loosing money!....



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    .... but a clear looser is the publisher....





    At first I thought it was a typo but since you did it again I know it's not.



    You're complaining that Apple's iPad and their alleged collisional actions now make you pay more for your ebooks. One would think that you, being such an avid reader, would know how to spell the words losing and loser.



    Wow.



    I won't talk for any others on this forum but, sorry, your misspelling of 3rd grade-level words makes me take your posts quite a bit less seriously.
  • realwarderrealwarder Posts: 131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


    At first I thought it was a typo but since you did it again I know it's not.



    You're complaining that Apple's iPad and their alleged collisional actions now make you pay more for your ebooks. One would think that you, being such an avid reader, would know how to spell the words losing and loser.



    Wow.



    I won't talk for any others on this forum but, sorry, your misspelling of 3rd grade-level words makes me take your posts quite a bit less seriously.





    It's always sad when people have to resort to personal attacks rather than actually commenting on the substance at hand.



    My original post also used 'see' instead of 'sell', just to add to my list of typos. I've been waiting for that to be pointed out too.
  • mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 6,899member
    So, this isn't a suit against Technical Publications? Where is McGraw-Hill in this suit?
  • bsgincbsginc Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    That was the problem though. By the publishers changing the model to 'set prices for other outlets' (i.e. define the actual selling price), that prevented Amazon from selling below the publishers price. So prices went up.



    Bull. That is simply not true. Apple never set a price. Apple does not appear to be guilty of price setting. Publishers. Yes. Apple. No. Apple cannot tell anyone what price to charge. They are large enough to demand best pricing from a publisher but the publisher is still free to set that price.
  • dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    It's always sad when people have to resort to personal attacks rather than actually commenting on the substance at hand.



    My original post also used 'see' instead of 'sell', just to add to my list of typos. I've been waiting for that to be pointed out too.



    I'm not attacking you personally and I'm not the only one that pointed it out. Everyone makes typos and those I let slide if they happen once, as in that case. But two different forms of the same word? C'mon, dude. Using proper grammar and spelling goes a long way when it comes to taking one's posts seriously. Not only that, Solip has also pointed out how you're changing your argument with each post.



    We take Apple seriously here so if you're going to come here and make waves, back up your accusations with a link or two, and.......speak intelligently.
  • crossuabcrossuab Posts: 14member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tcasey View Post


    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.



    But Amazon had 90% of market before and ebooks were cheaper. The Apple deal with publishers caused the prices to rise. I'm still unsure of how that was good for customers. Apple broke up the monopoly but it only benefited Apple and publishers like HarperCollins
  • crossuabcrossuab Posts: 14member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bsginc View Post


    Bull. That is simply not true. Apple never set a price. Apple does not appear to be guilty of price setting. Publishers. Yes. Apple. No. Apple cannot tell anyone what price to charge. They are large enough to demand best pricing from a publisher but the publisher is still free to set that price.



    Apple told the publishers they could set the price of ebooks at whatever they wanted but only if the publishers agreed to force Amazon to raise their prices as well. Apple didn't want to have to compete with Amazon on price. That's the conspiracy they are guilty of.
  • macarenamacarena Posts: 325member
    Whether wholesale or agency, it is not the model that is at fault.



    Whether Apple or Amazon, they are just doing what is comfortable and better for them long term. Ultimately, Amazon benefits if they can get Wholesale pricing and volumes. What does wholesale pricing mean? Imagine a scenario where Amazon gets a book for $20 if they buy 100 books, $10 if they buy 1000 books and $7 if they sell a 100,000 books. Amazon shoots for selling 100,000 and prices books at $9.99 - but other stores, especially physical stores just cannot compete at that scale. So they have to price books higher.



    Amazon has always played volume game, and they use volume for leverage. Apple on the other hand never plays a risky game. They always sell at a profit - but might not make much profits overall because of their operating costs.



    It is just 2 different ways of selling. Nothing wrong with either.



    The problem here is with publishers. They are trying to keep ebook prices high, so that they can still sell their hardbacks at high prices. If hypothetically, a brand new set of publishers emerged - with no earnings to protect, they could easily price ebooks at $4.99 and still be profitable.



    When people make arguments that authors deserve to be compensated, they are missing the big point. Even at $19.99 retail of a hardback, authors don't make much more than $1-2. This is easily possible with eBooks because lot of the costs are zero or low!



    DoJ is barking up the wrong tree. They should let the market sort itself out and this will likely happen even before this suit is resolved! And DoJ runs risk that a resolution against Apple and favoring Amazon could actually create a monopoly!
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