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Court documents reveal Steve Jobs email pushing e-book 'agency model' - Page 2

post #41 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

That would be unworkable. The publishers would set a price of (at least) $14.27 on iTunes so Apple can get their 30% while they still get the $9.99 they get from Amazon. Then no-one would buy from iTunes. And Apple can't very well waive the 30% because their music, movie and TV wholesalers would be up in arms.

Then oh well. It's very workable, there's a big difference in not being able to do something and not willing to do it. When it comes to apps, music, and TV shows Apple either set the market or were one of the frontrunners, and were able to set terms and a business model. They're a little late to the ebook game in which Amazon set the market and an opposing business model. If Apple has a unwillingness to compete with Amazon then don't. Competition is supposed to lower prices not increase them.
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post #42 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


No, he's suggesting that Amazon was illegally abusing its monopoly position via predatory pricing. Selling at or below cost to keep a competitor out of the market is illegal. So why are you attacking Apple rather than Amazon which was clearly guilty of illegal predatory pricing?


It's not predatory pricing, it's called a loss leader.  Every retail store has loss leaders to get you into the store.  Amazon was not breaking the law.

post #43 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


The email suggests that it's either Apple or Amazon and it reads as if the publisher can't choose both. Now, with Apple being the outsider with essentially no market share, that probably wouldn't lead anywhere, but it has the potential to create some problems.
I do not, however, see anything there that sounds like price fixing.

 

I don't read anything that suggests Apple or Amazon, not both. What I do read is that it's either a model that isn't sustainable or one that leads to a healthy industry, that will include both Apple and Amazon.

 

But, mainly what I read is simply a reasoned argument. I guess at the DoJ these days a reasoned argument is considered evidence of conspiracy.

 

But, what this case does show is that anti-trust law in this country is a mess and, like everything else, focused on short term consequences and trying to fix things after the damage is done, rather than preventing it. It's pretty obvious that Amazon is engaged in predatory pricing, that their intent is to monopolize not only the retail end of the book business but the publishing industry as a whole. It's also almost impossible to believe that the lawyers at the DoJ are so stupid as to not understand this, and the appearance of corruption at the DoJ is, as a consequence, unavoidable. I was at first reluctant to draw this conclusion, but, now, I find it difficult to come to any other.

post #44 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I don't know what you mean by "tough luck." Do you mean that if you can't match the price in a market you can't enter? Well that's not true, you can go to the wholesalers and explain that due to existing arrangements, $12.99 is the lowest you can do, and would they prefer you or the other guy as a business partner? It's totally on them whatever choice they make.

And why is that wholesalers problem? If they're getting full asking price from Amazon why should they care at what they sell it at?
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post #45 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Please explain how telling the publishers that the only price they can use is $9.99 is not price fixing.

$9.99 is not the only price that publishers can use, but the price for end customers. Amazon doesn't tell the publishers what the price should be; instead, it pays publishers whatever they ask for the book, and subsidizes the price to $9.99 from its own pockets. This has nothing to do with what is known as price fixing (see link above).

 

Besides, I don't recall anyone suing Amazon for illegal practices. Apple is the one on trial.

 

 

You can explain things until you are blue in the face, but if your audience is intent on misunderstanding words, or substituting the incorrect meaning of homonyms, you will never get him to agree to the obvious.

post #46 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Unlike your own posts, which are always on topic. /s

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post

 

LOL, beat me to it - yes, unlike your well reasoned and always unbiased posts.

 

Irony alert.

post #47 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


You can explain things until you are blue in the face, but if your audience is intent on misunderstanding words, or substituting the incorrect meaning of homonyms, you will never get him to agree to the obvious.

They'll only always see things Apple's way. Imagine a new company decided to compete with ExxonMobile and instead of gasoline prices going down they went up 30-40%, all here would be up in arms.
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post #48 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradam01 View Post


It's not predatory pricing, it's called a loss leader.  Every retail store has loss leaders to get you into the store.  Amazon was not breaking the law.

Yes, but loss leaders are not one category of product, every day, forever.

post #49 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Yes, but loss leaders are not one category of product, every day, forever.

You would be surprised.  I used to work for a grocery wholesaler that was owned by the stores it supplied(AKA a Coop).  There are certain categories of products that are always used as a loss leader.

post #50 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

 

I don't know what you mean by "tough luck." Do you mean that if you can't match the price in a market you can't enter? Well that's not true, you can go to the wholesalers and explain that due to existing arrangements, $12.99 is the lowest you can do, and would they prefer you or the other guy as a business partner? It's totally on them whatever choice they make.

 

I agree with your suggested mode of action, as long as no one is forcing exclusivity. Jobs email gave me the impression "you're either with us, or on your own".

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


No, he's suggesting that Amazon was illegally abusing its monopoly position via predatory pricing. Selling at or below cost to keep a competitor out of the market is illegal. So why are you attacking Apple rather than Amazon which was clearly guilty of illegal predatory pricing?

 

Amazon may well have been doing this. Did Apple sue Amazon for anticompetitive practices? No. Do you think colluding to fix prices and breaking the law is the proper way to counteract Amazon's actions?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


Huh!? What if it was sold to Amazon for $0.99 instead?
As usual, on topic, but confused.

If what was sold by whom? Do you mean that Amazon was selling at $9.99 books that it got for $0.99 from the publisher? I am unaware of that happening.

post #51 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Then oh well. It's very workable, there's a big difference in not being able to do something and not willing to do it. When it comes to apps, music, and TV shows Apple either set the market or were one of the frontrunners, and were able to set terms and a business model. They're a little late to the ebook game in which Amazon set the market and an opposing business model. If Apple has a unwillingness to compete with Amazon then don't. Competition is supposed to lower prices not increase them.

 

By "unworkable" I didn't mean physically impossible, I meant there was no way for both parties to profit from the deal.
 
I don't know what you mean by "an unwillingness to compete." Undercutting someone's price is not the only way to compete with them, you can offer a better quality product, or a better deal to their suppliers (in this case Apple did both). This is not Apple being anti-competitive, this is an instance of Apple competing with Amazon.
post #52 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

 
I don't know what you mean by "an unwillingness to compete." Undercutting someone's price is not the only way to compete with them, you can offer a better quality product, or a better deal to their suppliers (in this case Apple did both). This is not Apple being anti-competitive, this is an instance of Apple competing with Amazon.

 

 

Apple is accused of colluding with the publishers to eliminate competitors and competition, and to impose higher, fixed prices across the board.

 

Eliminating competition via collusion is not generally called competition in a free market.  Arranging collusion between competitive publishers such that they all charge the same prices is not generally called competitive.  Instead, it is generally seen as anti-competitive.

 

but words can mean anything we want them to mean, eh?

post #53 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

By "unworkable" I didn't mean physically impossible, I meant there was no way for both parties to profit from the deal.
 
I don't know what you mean by "an unwillingness to compete." Undercutting someone's price is not the only way to compete with them, you can offer a better quality product, or a better deal to their suppliers (in this case Apple did both). This is not Apple being anti-competitive, this is an instance of Apple competing with Amazon.

How is it a better deal for the suppliers? They're still only getting $9.99 from both Apple and Amazon. It's not anti-competitive its anti-consumer because we get shafted paying an extra 30-40%.
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post #54 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

If what was sold by whom? Do you mean that Amazon was selling at $9.99 books that it got for $0.99 from the publisher? I am unaware of that happening.

You have some comprehension issues as well. To whom, and to what were you referring?

 

Re. being 'unaware', are you telling us that you're aware of the fact that Amazon subsidizes books (as you originally claimed)? Evidence? And, the fact that you are 'unaware' of something would imply that it could not be happening? How about actually answering the question I raised in my post, which is (let me s-p-e-l-l it out): If your argument is correct one way (i.e., if/when publishers sell to Amazon at P > $9.99), how does your argument work the other way (i.e., if/when publishers sell to Amazon at P <$9.99)?

 

It really would help if you could think through some basic issues before you post.

post #55 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradam01 View Post

You would be surprised.  I used to work for a grocery wholesaler that was owned by the stores it supplied(AKA a Coop).  There are certain categories of products that are always used as a loss leader.

So, according to you, an entire category of product known as Books, -- and thereby, authors and publishers, -- a category that most sensible people would agree is central to the development and sustenance of knowledge and education, and hence civilization, can be relegated to something not unlike loss-leader vegetables at your local grocery?

 

Is this even a serious point?

post #56 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradam01 View Post

You would be surprised.  I used to work for a grocery wholesaler that was owned by the stores it supplied(AKA a Coop).  There are certain categories of products that are always used as a loss leader.

So, according to you, an entire category of product known as Books, -- and thereby, authors and publishers, -- a category that most sensible people would agree is central to the development and sustenance of knowledge and education, and hence civilization, can be relegated to something not unlike loss-leader vegetables at your local grocery?

 

Is this even a serious point?

 

Isn't food more central to the sustenance of civilization than books?  And why is that criteria even relevant to whether or not something can be used as a loss leader?

post #57 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

So, according to you, an entire category of product known as Books, -- and thereby, authors and publishers, -- a category that most sensible people would agree is central to the development and sustenance of knowledge and education, and hence civilization, can be relegated to something not unlike loss-leader vegetables at your local grocery?

 

Is this even a serious point?

What the hell is your point.  I just saying retail will use a category of products(like Amazon uses the eBook category) as a loss leader to build customer loyalty and gain additional sales in other areas.   It shouldn't matter if it's books, food, or anything.  This is how retail business in America works.  I don't know where your going with books being the capstone of civilization, but if you believe that's the case shouldn't all books be free.

post #58 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You have some comprehension issues as well. To whom, and to what were you referring?

 

Re. being 'unaware', are you telling us that you're aware of the fact that Amazon subsidizes books (as you originally claimed)? Evidence? And, the fact that you are 'unaware' of something would imply that it could not be happening? How about actually answering the question I raised in my post, which is (let me s-p-e-l-l it out): If your argument is correct one way (i.e., if/when publishers sell to Amazon at P > $9.99), how does your argument work the other way (i.e., if/when publishers sell to Amazon at P <$9.99)?

 

It really would help if you could think through some basic issues before you post.

My argument was that Amazon is not doing price-fixing, because that would involve at least two participants. It doesn't matter what price they were getting for the books. If they were making a huge profit, good for them -- I said I wasn't aware of that because it's not what Amazon are known for (thin profit margins, large volumes). If it indeed happened, I'd appreciate that you give an example (so that I know not to buy the overpriced books).

 

As to Amazon's wholesale pricing model, it's been discussed at length here on Apple Insider. The accusations that Amazon undercuts competitors prices are based this very model. If you don't believe that Amazon is selling ebooks at a loss, then I don't see what your problem with Amazon is.

post #59 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


How is it a better deal for the suppliers? They're still only getting $9.99 from both Apple and Amazon. It's not anti-competitive its anti-consumer because we get shafted paying an extra 30-40%.

It's a better deal for the suppliers because the 30% added to the price will allow other retailers to enter the market, which they can't do at the moment because Amazon is using the product as a loss leader. This will reduce the chances (as Jobs said in 2) of Amazon dictating terms to the publishers down the road, once they have wiped everyone else out.

post #60 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradam01 View Post


It's not predatory pricing, it's called a loss leader.  Every retail store has loss leaders to get you into the store.  Amazon was not breaking the law.

It's not a 'loss leader' when you're a monopoly selling substantially below your cost to keep competitors out of the market. That's called predatory pricing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


You can explain things until you are blue in the face, but if your audience is intent on misunderstanding words, or substituting the incorrect meaning of homonyms, you will never get him to agree to the obvious.

And since you're the one who is intent on misunderstanding words, or substituting the incorrect meaning of homonyms, you would be the expert on that.

Still waiting for you to show exactly what Apple did that's illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Amazon may well have been doing this. Did Apple sue Amazon for anticompetitive practices? No. Do you think colluding to fix prices and breaking the law is the proper way to counteract Amazon's actions?

So the fact that Apple didn't sue makes it OK? I also think it's funny how you're all in favor of lawsuits when someone is suing Apple and opposed to lawsuits when Apple sues someone - yet you're willing to use "Apple should have sued" as a defense for Amazon's clearly illegal behavior.

The fact is that predatory pricing is illegal and all the evidence shows that Amazon was doing that. Apple found a way to compete without engaging in a lawsuit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


Apple is accused of colluding with the publishers to eliminate competitors and competition, and to impose higher, fixed prices across the board.

Eliminating competition via collusion is not generally called competition in a free market.  Arranging collusion between competitive publishers such that they all charge the same prices is not generally called competitive.  Instead, it is generally seen as anti-competitive.

but words can mean anything we want them to mean, eh?

Sure. Just as you use 'accused' to mean 'guilty - string them up'.

Still waiting for evidence that Apple engaged in illegal behavior. Nothing that the DOJ has presented so far is anything more than "this might be just a little suspicious, but it's the best we have at this point".

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

My argument was that Amazon is not doing price-fixing, because that would involve at least two participants. It doesn't matter what price they were getting for the books. If they were making a huge profit, good for them -- I said I wasn't aware of that because it's not what Amazon are known for (thin profit margins, large volumes). If it indeed happened, I'd appreciate that you give an example (so that I know not to buy the overpriced books).

As to Amazon's wholesale pricing model, it's been discussed at length here on Apple Insider. The accusations that Amazon undercuts competitors prices are based this very model. If you don't believe that Amazon is selling ebooks at a loss, then I don't see what your problem with Amazon is.

I see. So Amazon can't be doing price-fixing because it must involve two participants, but Apple is doing price fixing simply on the basis of a letter sent out by a single participant which doesn't even suggest price fixing at all. Do you have any ideal how hypocritical you are?

Furthermore, the issue with Amazon isn't price fixing, it's illegal predatory pricing - which does not require a conspiracy.
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post #61 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

but words can mean anything we want them to mean, eh?

 

Well according to my dictionary, competition is "The activity or condition of striving to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others." Nothing in there about charging a lower price being the One True Form of competition.
 
I don't think I'm redefining words, I'm taking a realistic view of all the ways companies compete and others an inexplicably narrow one.
post #62 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

It's not a 'loss leader' when you're a monopoly selling substantially below your cost to keep competitors out of the market. That's called predatory pricing.
And since you're the one who is intent on misunderstanding words, or substituting the incorrect meaning of homonyms, you would be the expert on that.
Still waiting for you to show exactly what Apple did that's illegal.
So the fact that Apple didn't sue makes it OK? I also think it's funny how you're all in favor of lawsuits when someone is suing Apple and opposed to lawsuits when Apple sues someone - yet you're willing to use "Apple should have sued" as a defense for Amazon's clearly illegal behavior.
The fact is that predatory pricing is illegal and all the evidence shows that Amazon was doing that. Apple found a way to compete without engaging in a lawsuit.
Sure. Just as you use 'accused' to mean 'guilty - string them up'.
Still waiting for evidence that Apple engaged in illegal behavior. Nothing that the DOJ has presented so far is anything more than "this might be just a little suspicious, but it's the best we have at this point".
I see. So Amazon can't be doing price-fixing because it must involve two participants, but Apple is doing price fixing simply on the basis of a letter sent out by a single participant which doesn't even suggest price fixing at all. Do you have any ideal how hypocritical you are?
Furthermore, the issue with Amazon isn't price fixing, it's illegal predatory pricing - which does not require a conspiracy.

It's not predatory pricing and here's why.

1. There needs to be a "prey" meaning someone there before that one is going to eat up and get rid of. Ex. What Walmart does when it goes into new places and undercuts the existing businesses.

2. Amazon didn't change its prices all of a sudden when a competitor showed up, its been their price all along.

Amazon takes a loss or breaks even on ebooks because a consumer will most likely buy higher priced items then or at a later time.
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post #63 of 101

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


It's not a 'loss leader' when you're a monopoly selling substantially below your cost to keep competitors out of the market. That's called predatory pricing.
And since you're the one who is intent on misunderstanding words, or substituting the incorrect meaning of homonyms, you would be the expert on that.
Still waiting for you to show exactly what Apple did that's illegal.
So the fact that Apple didn't sue makes it OK? I also think it's funny how you're all in favor of lawsuits when someone is suing Apple and opposed to lawsuits when Apple sues someone - yet you're willing to use "Apple should have sued" as a defense for Amazon's clearly illegal behavior.

 

I don't see why you keep discussing what Amazon is doing, this thread is about a lawsuit against Apple. I agree that Amazon may have been in the wrong, and I suggest that if anyone feels wronged by Amazon they should seek justice in court. Still this does nothing to acquit Apple from potential collusion and price-fixing.


The fact is that predatory pricing is illegal and all the evidence shows that Amazon was doing that. Apple found a way to compete without engaging in a lawsuit.
Sure. Just as you use 'accused' to mean 'guilty - string them up'.
Still waiting for evidence that Apple engaged in illegal behavior. Nothing that the DOJ has presented so far is anything more than "this might be just a little suspicious, but it's the best we have at this point".
I see. So Amazon can't be doing price-fixing because it must involve two participants, but Apple is doing price fixing simply on the basis of a letter sent out by a single participant which doesn't even suggest price fixing at all. Do you have any ideal how hypocritical you are?
Furthermore, the issue with Amazon isn't price fixing, it's illegal predatory pricing - which does not require a conspiracy.

 

I was answering to a question in the context of fixing prices (the premise was that Amazon was selling a $0.99 book for $9.99, don't ask me where that idea came from).

And I'm not hypocritical, involving more than one party is in the definition of price-fixing. As usual you resort to personal attacks when you're losing an argument (again, as usual).

post #64 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradam01 View Post

What the hell is your point.  I just saying retail will use a category of products(like Amazon uses the eBook category) as a loss leader to build customer loyalty and gain additional sales in other areas.   It shouldn't matter if it's books, food, or anything.  This is how retail business in America works.  I don't know where your going with books being the capstone of civilization, but if you believe that's the case shouldn't all books be free.

My point is that Amazon using something as a loss leader might be a great strategy for Amazon, but not for authors and publishers.

 

And, my point is that, just because you worked in a grocery store where they apparently had a permanent loss leader (What was it, btw? I am curious) does not mean that a product category as large as 'books' could (or is even likely to) be sold at below cost forever, and not without it being some form of predatory pricing in the long run.

 

Perhaps you should read more....

post #65 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

My argument was that Amazon is not doing price-fixing, because that would involve at least two participants. It doesn't matter what price they were getting for the books. If they were making a huge profit, good for them -- I said I wasn't aware of that because it's not what Amazon are known for (thin profit margins, large volumes). If it indeed happened, I'd appreciate that you give an example (so that I know not to buy the overpriced books).

 

As to Amazon's wholesale pricing model, it's been discussed at length here on Apple Insider. The accusations that Amazon undercuts competitors prices are based this very model. If you don't believe that Amazon is selling ebooks at a loss, then I don't see what your problem with Amazon is.

So, how is a letter from one company/person that says you can sell it at $12.99 or $14.99 'price fixing'? And, if the consumer can buy the same product for $9.99 elsewhere how is that a monopoly?

 

The larger issue is, people like you and zzz are viscerally anti-Apple. You prefer to see the world solely through that lens. Guys like you like to cloak it using the pretense of logic and objectivity, but all any semi-intelligent perosn has to do is look at the history of your postings. (I readily admit that I am pro-Apple, but I am being intellectually honest and upfront with my biases.)

post #66 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

And I'm not hypocritical, involving more than one party is in the definition of price-fixing. As usual you resort to personal attacks when you're losing an argument (again, as usual).

It came from someone absurdly claiming that Amazon's "subsidy" was fine.

 

As to hypocrisy, see above.lol.gif

post #67 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It's a better deal for the suppliers because the 30% added to the price will allow other retailers to enter the market, which they can't do at the moment because Amazon is using the product as a loss leader. This will reduce the chances (as Jobs said in 2) of Amazon dictating terms to the publishers down the road, once they have wiped everyone else out.

The only other retailer you're concerned with is Apple, in which one will pay more for less. Buying a ebook from Amazon allows me to read it across multiple platforms via the Kindle app, buying it from iBooks restricts me to only my iOS devices.
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post #68 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

So, how is a letter from one company/person that says you can sell it at $12.99 or $14.99 'price fixing'? And, if the consumer can buy the same product for $9.99 elsewhere how is that a monopoly?

 

 

The larger issue is, people like you and zzz are viscerally anti-Apple. You prefer to see the world solely through that lens. Guys like you like to cloak it using the pretense of logic and objectivity, but all any semi-intelligent perosn has to do is look at the history of your postings. (I readily admit that I am pro-Apple, but I am being intellectually honest and upfront with my biases.)

It's not up to me to decide whether this letter is sufficient evidence that Apple was involved in collusion and price fixing. It does seem from it that Jobs was suggesting that publishers should either choose Apple or Amazon as their partner. This would make it impossible for the consumer to buy the same product for $9.99 elsewhere as you suggest.

 

I find it poor taste to discuss the posters instead of the topic. If you indeed look at my postings, you won't find me praising Apple -- there are enough groupies on this site to do that. However I never post on threads just to bash Apple either -- I only discuss 1 in 5 or 10 topics that I find interesting and when I see the cheerleaders making huge leaps of logic. So sue me.

post #69 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post
No one with a clue as said that Apple was a dupe. Apple offered the same terms they use in all their stores.

Since when is a new entrant to a market allowed to dictate their terms for that market and on top of that demand that all prior participants in that market now acquiesce to those new terms?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

 

I don't know what you mean by "tough luck." Do you mean that if you can't match the price in a market you can't enter? Well that's not true, you can go to the wholesalers and explain that due to existing arrangements, $12.99 is the lowest you can do, and would they prefer you or the other guy as a business partner? It's totally on them whatever choice they make.

That wasn't what happened. Apple's contract didn't control just their behavior, it dictated to the publishers their behavior to other wholesalers. It also isn't an "or" question. Publishers should be free to sell to both guys as business partners. Walmart cannot tell Coke to only sell 2L bottle of soda for $1.99 to them and everyone else.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

No, he's suggesting that Amazon was illegally abusing its monopoly position via predatory pricing. Selling at or below cost to keep a competitor out of the market is illegal. So why are you attacking Apple rather than Amazon which was clearly guilty of illegal predatory pricing?

The concept of loss-leader is in no form or fashion the same as predatory pricing. Also if Apple believed that the case, Apple could have simply done what is being done to them right now and that is demand an investigation. Apple didn't do this because they they couldn't compete with Amazon. They did this because they didn't want a lower margin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
By "unworkable" I didn't mean physically impossible, I meant there was no way for both parties to profit from the deal.
 
I don't know what you mean by "an unwillingness to compete." Undercutting someone's price is not the only way to compete with them, you can offer a better quality product, or a better deal to their suppliers (in this case Apple did both). This is not Apple being anti-competitive, this is an instance of Apple competing with Amazon.

I'm quite certain that Amazon and the various publishers that work with them have both been profitable. Again the Apple argument is without merit because it basically amounts to two wrongs make a right. If Apple felt wronged, their recourse was to demand the government investigate the market.

 

You note Apple traditionally doesn't compete on price and prefer instead to make a better working and more comprehensive solution to a product. The reason this sticks out like a sore thumb is because it is very clear they haven't done that at all. iBooks is in no form or fashion a better quality product than the Kindle Reader app. We note what Apple has done with other content areas and it is clear they make that content available on Mac, Windows, iPods, iPhones and even third party products that want to read and access the iTunes database in the approved manner.

 

You look at iBooks and they are available on iOS devices exclusively. Meanwhile I can read Kindle books on Mac, Windows, a web browser, and all Kindle devices. Apple has the inferior solution and they want the market to guarantee them 30% on top of it. It isn't right.

Quote:

Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You have some comprehension issues as well. To whom, and to what were you referring?

 

Re. being 'unaware', are you telling us that you're aware of the fact that Amazon subsidizes books (as you originally claimed)? Evidence? And, the fact that you are 'unaware' of something would imply that it could not be happening? How about actually answering the question I raised in my post, which is (let me s-p-e-l-l it out): If your argument is correct one way (i.e., if/when publishers sell to Amazon at P > $9.99), how does your argument work the other way (i.e., if/when publishers sell to Amazon at P <$9.99)?

 

It really would help if you could think through some basic issues before you post.

Are you suggesting Amazon cannot sell something for a profit or their wholesale model precludes others from selling under the prices they offer? It is quite the opposite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It's a better deal for the suppliers because the 30% added to the price will allow other retailers to enter the market, which they can't do at the moment because Amazon is using the product as a loss leader. This will reduce the chances (as Jobs said in 2) of Amazon dictating terms to the publishers down the road, once they have wiped everyone else out.

Amazon is not using every book the sell as a loss leader. They do not sell every book for a loss. Rather they do exactly what Walmart and so many other retailers do around big events. They use one or two big items to drum up interest and traffic. This is no different than $250 laptops on Black Fridays. The effect helps both parties because it also helps the product being sold have a larger base, more interest in it and future products related to it, and helps their brand. Thus there is a reason Harry Potter box sets will be made available for Walmart or others to push. When kids have Harry Potter books that they may have gotten for $20 for the entire set, they will be more likely to go see the Harry Potter movie, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

It's not a 'loss leader' when you're a monopoly selling substantially below your cost to keep competitors out of the market. That's called predatory pricing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Amazon may well have been doing this. Did Apple sue Amazon for anti competitive practices? No. Do you think colluding to fix prices and breaking the law is the proper way to counteract Amazon's actions?

So the fact that Apple didn't sue makes it OK? I also think it's funny how you're all in favor of lawsuits when someone is suing Apple and opposed to lawsuits when Apple sues someone - yet you're willing to use "Apple should have sued" as a defense for Amazon's clearly illegal behavior.

The fact is that predatory pricing is illegal and all the evidence shows that Amazon was doing that. Apple found a way to compete without engaging in a lawsuit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

My argument was that Amazon is not doing price-fixing, because that would involve at least two participants. It doesn't matter what price they were getting for the books. If they were making a huge profit, good for them -- I said I wasn't aware of that because it's not what Amazon are known for (thin profit margins, large volumes). If it indeed happened, I'd appreciate that you give an example (so that I know not to buy the overpriced books).

As to Amazon's wholesale pricing model, it's been discussed at length here on Apple Insider. The accusations that Amazon undercuts competitors prices are based this very model. If you don't believe that Amazon is selling ebooks at a loss, then I don't see what your problem with Amazon is.

I see. So Amazon can't be doing price-fixing because it must involve two participants, but Apple is doing price fixing simply on the basis of a letter sent out by a single participant which doesn't even suggest price fixing at all. Do you have any ideal how hypocritical you are?

Furthermore, the issue with Amazon isn't price fixing, it's illegal predatory pricing - which does not require a conspiracy.

 

Sorry but Apple is in the wrong here. At best your defense is that they committed a wrong action to counter Amazon's wrong action while not making use of the proper means of addressing Amazon's alleged illegal actions. It is bad reasoning, a bad defense and doesn't help Apple become a better company or to remain on top.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #70 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

I find it poor taste to discuss the posters instead of the topic. If you indeed look at my postings, you won't find me praising Apple -- there are enough groupies on this site to do that. However I never post on threads just to bash Apple either -- I only discuss 1 in 5 or 10 topics that I find interesting and when I see the cheerleaders making huge leaps of logic. So sue me.

Thank you providing a fabulous example your recurring hypocrisy: you talk about posters here being "groupies" and "cheerleaders" and then claim that it's in "poor taste" to discuss posters!

 

You're a piece of work, Doc!

post #71 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Thank you providing a fabulous example your recurring hypocrisy: you talk about posters here being "groupies" and "cheerleaders" and then claim that it's in "poor taste" to discuss posters!

I never mentioned anyone in particular, which is a tad different from the direct name calling that you resort to. Are you denying that there are groupies here, just like there are haters, trolls, shills, fandroids, etc.?

 

Quote:

You're a piece of work, Doc!

 

Thank you.

post #72 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Jobs did suggest prices in this email. AFAIK under the agency model the publishers set the prices themselves. Also "we can all" hints that other publishers will participate under similar terms.

 

"As I see it, [Conspiring Publisher] has the following choices:

1. Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream ebooks market at $12.99 and $14.99."

 

So what. All that matters is if those prices are required in the contracts. THAT is when the prices are fixed. 

 

The prices quoted are the same ones that publishers were focusing their fiction trade paper editions around. The same prices they said they wanted to sell out rather than the mass market scale which basically tops out at $9.99 for very popular writers (the rest being between $5.99-7.99). Jobs wouldn't want publishers using their pricing power to go too crazy and put prices up to the hard cover scale of $30-35 so he drops a hint of his ideal scale for pricing. But if the publishers want to charge $100 the contract giving them total pricing control would allow them to make that move, stupid as it would probably be. 

 

The only part of this game from Apple that is an issue is the Favored Nation rule. Then again apparently Amazon put in the same clause and has used it against authors who's pricing was on a temp promo in the iBookstore. One example is the sequel to Friday Night Lights which was a Starbucks freebie title. Amazon used that clause to make it free in their store, where it could stay until the Starbucks cards expire (which is in like a month). Even though that pricing in iBooks isn't universal. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #73 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

I never mentioned anyone in particular, which is a tad different from the direct name calling that you resort to. Are you denying that there are groupies here, just like there are haters, trolls, shills, fandroids, etc.?

 

 

Thank you.

Who are the "groupies" here?

 

Anyway, you've derailed this this enough, so get back on topic.

post #74 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Please explain how telling the publishers that the only price they can use is $9.99 is not price fixing.

 

He's getting picky on the fact that the term "price fixing" is a legal one used in cases where one party is or is at least attempting to set prices for everyone involved. 

 

Amazon set a fixed price yes. They were the only market when they started, yes. There might have been issues with their tactics and their games of yanking non ebooks as leverage to keep that control but no one ever challenged any of that. Not the customers, the publishers, certainly not the DOJ. So in that sense I agree with the gist of what you are saying. It does feel a lot like no one cared until they could name drop Apple. If they had cared to look they might have found contract clauses preventing books being in other stores, setting favored nation clauses etc. The former apparently does exist in at least some cases as really popular titles like the Hunger Games trilogy are allegedly prohibited from being in any ebook store by Amazon at the moment. And at least now Amazon has the same favored nation clause and has used it, as I mention in another post. But the DOJ still isn't looking at them .

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post #75 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

So what. All that matters is if those prices are required in the contracts. THAT is when the prices are fixed. ...

 

Tell that to the judge. I am not a lawyer, just a customer who wants to be informed which company is more trustworthy.

post #76 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Anyway, you've derailed this this enough, so get back on topic.

ROTFL

post #77 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Well, tough luck. Are you suggesting that Apple's inability to compete on price justified a collusion to fix prices?

 

 

If you have some smoking gun that proves that Apple colluded, please hand it over. We have proof that the publishers were intending to band together to force a change in the rules with Amazon etc, but nothing that Apple did anything more than offer the same terms they use for everything else. Which happened to be the same ones the publishers wanted. Not even this email really proves anything other than Steve Jobs was willing to step in when someone wasn't impressed by being woo'd by some second level exec. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #78 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

ROTFL

Why, thank you!

 

Now you finally see what I did there..... lol.gif

post #79 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

If you have some smoking gun that proves that Apple colluded, please hand it over. We have proof that the publishers were intending to band together to force a change in the rules with Amazon etc, but nothing that Apple did anything more than offer the same terms they use for everything else. Which happened to be the same ones the publishers wanted. Not even this email really proves anything other than Steve Jobs was willing to step in when someone wasn't impressed by being woo'd by some second level exec. 

Enough with the straw man arguments. I asked if ascii thinks that inability to compete justifies collusion. If it doesn't then there's no need to drag Amazon in the discussion. I did not claim however that I have evidence of Apple colluding. If I did, I would hand it to the court. Would you?

post #80 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradam01 View Post


It's not predatory pricing, it's called a loss leader.  Every retail store has loss leaders to get you into the store.  Amazon was not breaking the law.

 

Actually it can be both. Amazon could be buying the selling rights at $9.99 or whatever and setting their customer pricing at cost or even below as a loss leader. 

 

But other bookstores might not have the 'other stuff' to make money on like electronics etc and if they want ebook sales they would have no choice to price at $9.99 or less to get this. Which means they are selling at a loss with nothing for it to 'lead' to. And that can be deemed predatory. 

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