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DoJ seen as unlikely to win antitrust e-book suit against Apple - Page 3

post #81 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techboy View Post

It is no secret publishers are pissed about Amazon's steep discounts. It completely undermines the same books sold else where, online and otherwise.

I think part of the problem is publishers need to man-up, either boycott Amazon or shut up. I work in publishing, and in twenty years of doing this, I have never seen such a lack of direction and leadership.

Bingo! Ebooks aren't going away, and the entry into that market is low. Hell, I could set up a website and a Paypal processing service and sell ebooks. What I can't do, for a low startup cost at least, is create a system that distributes to brick and mortar bookstores or have the warehouse space to store print books.

Eventually ebooks will dominate the publishing landscape, and the price of ebooks, no matter the pricing model, is going to experience a downward pressure due to this low market entry cost. It is the inevitable future of publishing. What are they doing to plan for this?

Why are the majority of them still in New York, paying New York rents and New York salaries?

In the last twenty years especially, we've seen a multitude of companies attempt to fight innovation. Innovation always wins.
post #82 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALNorm View Post

Under the current case, it would seem as such (that ebooks fall under the definition of a typical commodity item).

As for your second take. Yes, a manufacturer is free to decide with whom it wishes to do business. But that goes both ways.

You have to look at the bigger picture, and it harks back to the collusion case. Ebooks are a smaller piece of the publishing landscape (most estimates have it below 20%). You still have that other 80%, which is print, and Amazon is a massive market for those titles (estimates give it near 40-60% of the total publishing retail market). If an individual publisher took on Amazon, Amazon could then kill 40-60% of their business overnight by pulling print titles.

According to the allegations, publishers wanted the agency model because it allowed them to price their ebooks higher, which in turn protected print sales. You see, print distribution is what the large publishers have as their ace card. Everything else they do can be outsourced (editing, marketing, contracts), but not everyone can get their print titles into a brick and mortar bookstore. Kill a publishers hold on print distribution, by killing brick and mortar bookstores, and you kill the publishers' business model.

A publisher removing ebooks, which could make Amazon remove print books of that publisher, is exactly what they fought against. It takes a different path, but it in essence has the same effect; it kills print.

Books are a luxury item.
post #83 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Well, I'm gonna wait to see the evidence that backs up the complaint. DoJ thinks they have a case; I'd like to see it go to trial instead of a settlement. If there are illegalities, let's get the courts to review and rule. Regardless who runs Justice, there seems to be this method to threaten suit and getting a settlement somewhere below the cost of litigation instead of having rulings that set legal precedent.

Edit: I'm pleased that Apple and some publishers have the stones to take it to trial.



No the DOJ hoped for a quick settlement in an election year.
post #84 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Books are a luxury item.

Books are made of paper.
post #85 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

The rest are from my CD collection.

Mine are copies from friends and the library.
post #86 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALNorm View Post

Under the current case, it would seem as such (that ebooks fall under the definition of a typical commodity item).

I find this disturbing since each book title can easily be argued to be a different tier or a single product. 1,000 titles is not likened to 1,000 bushels of rice. I hope this topic comes up in court and publishers and authors are able to at least argue the distinction. Difference is cost can be associated with the method of distribution and packaging of said title. If not allowed to protect print, I can easily see the publishers not releasing eBooks until paperback editions are available.

btw, I agree with you and Egon - "Print is dead." Well, maybe not yet but it's visible on the horizon. It's the next DRM battle.
post #87 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

It will NEVER go to trial. There are only two possibilities.

1. Apple will realize it can't win and settle.

2. The DOJ will realize it can't win and withdraw the suit, just like they did with IBM.

I predict #2



No way number two happens. The Justice Department will not drop the suit. It filed because it thinks it can force a settlement, but it also filed knowing that if any of the parties called its bluff it would have to go the distance.
post #88 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Will Apple run into any backlash if it increasingly markets hardware that is primarily useful to access more stuff that to be bought from apple?

Unlike with Amazon's products, with Apple's products you can get content from a variety of sources including Amazon. I don't see Amazon linking to iTunes.
post #89 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALNorm View Post

Why are the majority of them still in New York, paying New York rents and New York salaries?

Because it makes business sense to be in one location. If you write a novel doesn't it make more sense to be able to walk or take mass transit from publisher to publisher in the same city than fly city to city. A great many novelist live in the northeast making NYC convenient for them.
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post #90 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

No the DOJ hoped for a quick settlement in an election year.

That is what I fear and loath - any DoJ that intimidates instead of seeking law enforcement. If it's found that this suit is about intimidation and is frivolous, the people should pay and those responsible held accountable. Justice gets to go both ways still, I hope.

Didn't DoJ just have to pay $120K out in a settlement for a frivolous suit where they were seeking a $10K fine?
post #91 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALNorm View Post

But it's the non-settling publishers I really feel sorry for. They will be stuck on an agency model and competing against Amazon's discounted prices. So when those agency model publishers lower their prices to become more competitive, they must also cut their profit, which is less than what the wholesale folks are getting (wholesale prices remain static when retail prices change up or down, whereas under agency the net price goes up when the retail goes up and the net goes down when the retail goes down).

I didn't agree with any of your post, but this quoted part really makes no sense (at least that I can understand). So you are telling me if one of three hold outs is responsible for publishing the next Harry Potter or Hunger Games it is going to be hurt because those books are not offered on Amazon?

Instead, it will be the other way around. Amazon will be hurt. We already know this because one or two publishers got into a tiff with Amazon when Amazon originally resisted the agency model. The publishers withdrew their content from Amazon. Not too long afterwards, Amazon caved and switched to the agency model. Amazon can't be the biggest book seller if all the publishers aren't offered there.

Moreover, you apparently don't understand how retailers like Walmart and Amazon work. They attack the whole sale price. Walmart will tell a manufacturer to lower its price often times pressuring manufacturers to move operations overseas to places like China to satisfy these demands. Amazon does the same with books. To solidify its dominance with e-Books Amazon told publishers Amazon would not sell their traditional books if they did not substantially lower their wholesale price on e-Books allowing Amazon to aggressively lower the price on e-Books to the detriment of the more profitable traditional books. Your premise rests on the wholesale price remaining fixed and being set by publishers. The fact of the matter is large retailers have a strong influence on the wholesale price, which allows them to set low retail prices.
post #92 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

That is what I fear and loath - any DoJ that intimidates instead of seeking law enforcement. If it's found that this suit is about intimidation and is frivolous, the people should pay and those responsible held accountable. Justice gets to go both ways still, I hope.

Didn't DoJ just have to pay $120K out in a settlement for a frivolous suit where they were seeking a $10K fine?



The government no matter who is in power does what it wants. Moreover, $120K is nothing when you print the money.
post #93 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

The government no matter who is in power does what it wants. Moreover, $120K is nothing when you print the money.

I hear we're changing our motto from "In God We Trust" to "Fiat! It's not just a car, it's our currency".

post #94 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Because it makes business sense to be in one location. If you write a novel doesn't it make more sense to be able to walk or take mass transit from publisher to publisher in the same city than fly city to city. A great many novelist live in the northeast making NYC convenient for them.

Moreover, most of the large publishers don't pay rent because they have been around forever. They own the buildings.
post #95 of 109
I have complete and absolute trust in our governmental officials -- whether elected or of the bureaucratic breed. I believe with all my aorta that they will always take the correct position and do the right thing. If they say Apple has done wrong, then it must be true.

It is perfectly a-O.K. for the government to do Amazon’s dirty work and lower the cost of ebooks in order to wipe out every mom and pop and Barnes and Noble book store from our Borders.

For full disclosure, I have lived nearly my entire life in Illinois -- land of Obama. (The fact that our last 2 governors are currently wearing orange jumpers while lounging in their 6-foot x 8-foot concrete room is an aberration by the fact that only 2 of the 5 governors preceding them experienced similar living conditions.) I am heartened that our Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, is all over this like a fly on Urbana dung. Lisa learned well from her Daddy, Michael Madigan. Michael has done a tremendous job running an extremely profitable law firm and being the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives for the past 3 decades while driving Illinois so far in debt that all the money Apple has couldn’t save it.
post #96 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I didn't agree with any of your post, but this quoted part really makes no sense (at least that I can understand). So you are telling me if one of three hold outs is responsible for publishing the next Harry Potter or Hunger Games it is going to be hurt because those books are not offered on Amazon?

I clarified this in a later post. Also, yes, removing your product from your largest outlet will hurt you. Amazon is the largest outlet of books.

Quote:
Instead, it will be the other way around. Amazon will be hurt. We already know this because one or two publishers got into a tiff with Amazon when Amazon originally resisted the agency model. The publishers withdrew their content from Amazon. Not too long afterwards, Amazon caved and switched to the agency model. Amazon can't be the biggest book seller if all the publishers aren't offered there.

Of course Amazon would hurt too. But this isn't a one-sided blade. Both publishers and Amazon have leverage. Amazon needs the product and the publishers need Amazon's customers. If a publisher yanks a title, Amazon will lose sales, but since Amazon is the person in front of the customer, it can entice its customers to purchase other products. Publishers are one step removed from the customer since they don't do direct sales on any meaningful level, so they don't have the easy path to redirect customers. It then comes down to a who calls whose bluff.

However, this all looks like a moot point for three of the publishers who settled. I doubt they can pull their titles without a really good reason. And not liking how Amazon prices their titles is one reason that won't cut it.

Quote:
Moreover, you apparently don't understand how retailers like Walmart and Amazon work. They attack the whole sale price. Walmart will tell a manufacturer to lower its price often times pressuring manufacturers to move operations overseas to places like China to satisfy these demands. Amazon does the same with books. To solidify its dominance with e-Books Amazon told publishers Amazon would not sell their traditional books if they did not substantially lower their wholesale price on e-Books allowing Amazon to aggressively lower the price on e-Books to the detriment of the more profitable traditional books. Your premise rests on the wholesale price remaining fixed and being set by publishers. The fact of the matter is large retailers have a strong influence on the wholesale price, which allows them to set low retail prices.

I do understand quite well, thank you, but my original point was how a product will give complications to the publisher when said product is sold under two different models by competing companies and how the company on agency will be at a disadvantage or the publisher will take less. I didn't address the future of Amazon putting pressure on lower wholesale prices, and I think they will. You won't get me arguing there. In fact, I think the settlement just gave Amazon free rein to hurt the publishers more than they expected when they worried about Amazon's tactics before the eventual agency model switch.
post #97 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Did you read the complaint? It looks like they have plenty of evidence. It does not paint a pretty picture, and I did not fully understand the basis for some of the allegations until I read it.

If the allegations are proven, what will you conclude?

Looks like is not the same as solid evidence, why not let the court decide what looks like is real or just imagination on the part of Doj.
post #98 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


"Give the situation that existed, that was best for us to do this aikido move and end up with the agency model," Jobs said. "And we pulled it off."

Actually, Jobs was not talking about an "aikido move"

https://twitter.com/#!/ankleskater/s...99026894028800
post #99 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

In essence the ceiling is the floor in this case and reportedly by intent. That's included in the DoJ assertions. I think it's in the last couple of paragraphs in the earlier link.

Gator, based on your link THAT IS NOT TRUE. Apple said that it would like to sell the publishers' ebooks as long as the price is BELOW $12.99. If the publishers sold them at 0.99, Apple wouldn't care and would do it. If you are going to make that assertion then at least say that the PUBLISHERS made it the floor (which is STILL untrue because you can find plenty of ebooks for less than that).
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post #100 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

Gator, based on your link THAT IS NOT TRUE. Apple said that it would like to sell the publishers' ebooks as long as the price is BELOW $12.99.

I'm going by what the DoJ case claims. Beyond that I'm not privy to anything else. See the section under "One thing to note". Whether it's true or not would require more than circumstantial evidence that I'm personally assuming the DoJ has.
http://www.businessinsider.com/doj-l...ks-2012-4?op=1
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post #101 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I'm going by what the DoJ case claims. Beyond that I'm not privy to anything else. See the section under "One thing to note". Whether it's true or not would require more than circumstantial evidence that I'm personally assuming the DoJ has.
http://www.businessinsider.com/doj-l...ks-2012-4?op=1

Then you should have said that the DoJ asserts this as opposed to saying it as fact. Also, I wouldn't assume that the DoJ has the evidence at hand as much as the DoJ is making the assertion and will try to find hard evidence of that fact after the discovery phase.

ETA: The "one thing to note" section in your link only asserts that Apple agreed for the CEILING to be $14.99 instead of $12.99.
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post #102 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

Then you should have said that the DoJ asserts this as opposed to saying it as fact. Also, I wouldn't assume that the DoJ has the evidence at hand as much as the DoJ is making the assertion and will try to find hard evidence of that fact after the discovery phase.

ETA: The "one thing to note" section in your link only asserts that Apple agreed for the CEILING to be $14.99 instead of $12.99.

The way I read it is that the $12.99 and $14.99 became the de-facto price points and not simply the maximum. That's why I said the ceiling and the floor were one in the same in this particular case ( and I thought I made it clear it was based on reports, not some fact I was uniquely aware of).

Am I mis-reading it? I don't think so.
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post #103 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Am I mis-reading it? I don't think so.

You are misreading it. Those price points were discussed as MAXIMUM prices. Nowhere in that link does it state that those prices would be the lowest price point and going through the Amazon and Apple's respective stores proves that. The issue (IMO) is that the publishers came up with that ceiling ($14.99) together and strong armed BOTH Apple and Amazon to accept those terms. Each publisher could have come up with its own ceiling separately but chose not to.
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post #104 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

You are misreading it. Those price points were discussed as MAXIMUM prices. Nowhere in that link does it state that those prices would be the lowest price point and going through the Amazon and Apple's respective stores proves that. The issue (IMO) is that the publishers came up with that ceiling ($14.99) together and strong armed BOTH Apple and Amazon to accept those terms. Each publisher could have come up with its own ceiling separately but chose not to.

"Although couched as maximum retail prices, the price tiers in fact established the e-book prices to be charged."

I don't see how you're failing to understand that the DoJ claims the maximum price also became the established prices to be charged. One and the same with regard to bestsellers from those five publishers.
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post #105 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

"Although couched as maximum retail prices, the price tiers in fact established the e-book prices to be charged."

I don't see how you're failing to understand that the DoJ claims the maximum price also became the established prices to be charged. One and the same with regard to bestsellers from those five publishers.

As you have just stated, that is a CLAIM not a FACT and nothing quoted in the brief from the defendants supports that claim. If the DoJ presents evidence from the discovery phase that does, then and only then can you state that the ceiling is also the floor.

Here is a scenario where that would not be the case even with the argued agreements. A publisher has a new Stephen King book and sets the price at $14.99 (which is the ceiling). Said publisher also has signed a new author for a three book deal. It really believes the first book is killer and is a part of a series. It decides to use the first book as a loss leader to get buzz for the subsequent books and decides to charge $9.99. Well guess what, the publisher has every right to do that and it is LOWER than the $14.99 ceiling which means that $14.99 can't also be the floor.
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post #106 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

As you have just stated, that is a CLAIM not a FACT and nothing quoted in the brief from the defendants supports that claim. If the DoJ presents evidence from the discovery phase that does, then and only then can you state that the ceiling is also the floor.

Here is a scenario where that would not be the case even with the argued agreements. A publisher has a new Stephen King book and sets the price at $14.99 (which is the ceiling). Said publisher also has signed a new author for a three book deal. It really believes the first book is killer and is a part of a series. It decides to use the first book as a loss leader to get buzz for the subsequent books and decides to charge $9.99. Well guess what, the publisher has every right to do that and it is LOWER than the $14.99 ceiling which means that $14.99 can't also be the floor.

I've no idea why you're even arguing about what's been proven or not. Of course this is based on allegations until proven otherwise. According to reports Apple's established ceiling price is also the publisher's established floor price.

I think you've actually come around to agree with my reading of it, but feel I was claiming some inside knowledge establishing this as a fact rather than "according to reports"? To be clear I don't know (nor know anyone who does) if the DoJ has enough backup to make the allegation a fact. We might never know for certain. Apple may settle or the DoJ might cave before it ever gets that far.
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post #107 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy
In essence the ceiling is the floor in this case and reportedly by intent. That's included in the DoJ assertions. I think it's in the last couple of paragraphs in the earlier link.

I responded to this post initially where it seemed to me that you were stating that the ceiling was the floor as a fact with the intent being the only thing in question.
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post #108 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

I responded to this post initially where it seemed to me that you were stating that the ceiling was the floor as a fact with the intent being the only thing in question.

More a case of "clear as the written word" then.
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post #109 of 109
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Originally Posted by AndroidUser View Post

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/break...162205873.html

Looks like the Government never loses..

You want us to believe something written about Apple on an effectively Microsoft site? [Yahoo] Let 'em get their digs in while they can, they need to feel good about something... Anything, the way both of those companies have been doing. We all saw how effective the DoJ was vs Microsoft even when it "won".
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