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Court documents reveal Steve Jobs email pushing e-book 'agency model' - Page 3

post #81 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

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 .


Kinda like when Apple pulls apps from the app store because their policy isn't being followed to the letter?
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post #82 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Enough with the straw man arguments. I asked if ascii thinks that inability to compete justifies collusion. 

 

Before you can defend the notion of justifying collusion, prove it happened. If there was no collusion then there's nothing to justify. That's basic logic, no straw man arguments needed. 

 

You make a claim of guilt that hasn't been proven by anyone including you and you base your comments around that 'guilt'. Lacking proof to back up your base assumption makes your whole argument illogical and that is what has resulted in folks saying you are speaking based solely on an Anti-Apple bias that makes the company guilty of all alleged wrong doing in your eyes

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post #83 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Kinda like when Apple pulls apps from the app store because their policy isn't being followed to the letter?

 

That has nothing to do with pricing and is not applicable in this matter. Apple pulls apps because they were labeled as suitable for kids and weren't. Apple pulls apps because they use private APIs. Apple pulls apps for violating their rules for IAP etc. The only apps they ever pulled over price were lame stunts like the $999 "I am rich" nonsense. 

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post #84 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

That has nothing to do with pricing and is not applicable in this matter. Apple pulls apps because they were labeled as suitable for kids and weren't. Apple pulls apps because they use private APIs. Apple pulls apps for violating their rules for IAP etc. The only apps they ever pulled over price were lame stunts like the $999 "I am rich" nonsense. 

Regardless of reason the end result is the same, do things our way or get out.
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post #85 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
Regardless of reason the end result is the same, do things our way or get out.

 

No, you've missed the point.

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post #86 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

Before you can defend the notion of justifying collusion, prove it happened. If there was no collusion then there's nothing to justify. That's basic logic, no straw man arguments needed. 

That's not basic logic, that's zero logic. The issue at hand is collusion; anything unrelated to it can be ignored, so that we can focus at the issue at hand. People are bringing up Amazon's pricing model as if it is an excuse. All I said was that Amazon was not the issue.  

Quote:

You make a claim of guilt that hasn't been proven by anyone including you and you base your comments around that 'guilt'. Lacking proof to back up your base assumption makes your whole argument illogical and that is what has resulted in folks saying you are speaking based solely on an Anti-Apple bias that makes the company guilty of all alleged wrong doing in your eyes

And here comes your straw man argument. I do not make a claim that Apple is guilty. If you want to argue against that, be my guest, but let me out of it. 

post #87 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Before you can defend the notion of justifying collusion, prove it happened. If there was no collusion then there's nothing to justify. That's basic logic, no straw man arguments needed. 

You make a claim of guilt that hasn't been proven by anyone including you and you base your comments around that 'guilt'. Lacking proof to back up your base assumption makes your whole argument illogical and that is what has resulted in folks saying you are speaking based solely on an Anti-Apple bias that makes the company guilty of all alleged wrong doing in your eyes

I definitely think the publishers are guilty. How many immediately settled with the DoJ? Only guilty people take plea bargains not innocent ones.
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post #88 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

No, you've missed the point.

No it was my point that was missed. Those weren't the apps I was referring to. Its the apps that take a user out of the ecosystem and allow purchases in which Apple doesn't get a cut.
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post #89 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

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.

It is price fixing because the Apple contract with publishers specifically requires they withdraw the right to sell ebooks from any third party that offers it below the price at which Apple sells it.

 

Before Amazon bought the book rights from the publisher. Suppose they did so for $9.99 per book. They could sell them for $15.00. They might sell them for $11.00. They might sell them for $8.99 as a loss-leader to attract traffic to their website.

 

Now under the Apple negotiated agency model the book is offered to Apple for $9.99 and the publisher states it must be sold at $12.99. If Amazon or anyone else alters that pricing, then the publisher withdraws the right for them to sell that book. What was once a dynamic market with falling prices is now made static and Apple is guaranteed their 30% margin. That is nonsense.

 

I buy plenty of music for my iPhone and iPods. Sometimes I buy it from iTunes but just as often I will buy it from Amazon or Google. Why? I do so when they offer great deals. If I can get the same album for $5 instead of $10, or even for $2.99, that is better for me as a consumer and there is certainly no lack of competition in the digital music distribution market so why would this be true in the book market?

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post #90 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

Before you can defend the notion of justifying collusion, prove it happened. If there was no collusion then there's nothing to justify. That's basic logic, no straw man arguments needed. 

 

You make a claim of guilt that hasn't been proven by anyone including you and you base your comments around that 'guilt'. Lacking proof to back up your base assumption makes your whole argument illogical and that is what has resulted in folks saying you are speaking based solely on an Anti-Apple bias that makes the company guilty of all alleged wrong doing in your eyes

Don't waste your time with the Dr. This is his modus operandi.

 

And, he's like the Energizer bunny..... he'll outlast you.


Edited by anantksundaram - 5/15/12 at 1:23pm
post #91 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

It is price fixing because the Apple contract with publishers specifically requires they withdraw the right to sell ebooks from any third party that offers it below the price at which Apple sells it.

Really? Can you cite some evidence?

 

I could be wrong, but all that covered was within-app purchases (or something to that effect)? If it was as you say, I would imagine it would be Amazon that would cry foul with the DoJ? They seem to be awfully quiet on this.......

post #92 of 101

If you'll take the time to read the DoJ complaint, it's as Trumptman says. The prices that Apple and the 5 publishers agreed upon are the minimum permitted selling prices. Assuming Apple sells for the publishers suggested price rather than a higher one, Amazon cannot undercut them on pricing. The publisher's guaranteed that to Apple...

according to the DoJ complaint.

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post #93 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

It is price fixing because the Apple contract with publishers specifically requires they withdraw the right to sell ebooks from any third party that offers it below the price at which Apple sells it.

Really? Can you cite some evidence?

 

I could be wrong, but all that covered was within-app purchases (or something to that effect)? If it was as you say, I would imagine it would be Amazon that would ry foul with the DoJ? They seem to be awfully quiet on this.......

 

It's called the basic facts that have been reported on this issue.

 

Look at that link. It is over a month old. This isn't some new bit of info although the email from Steve, the basis for the thread, is new.

Quote:

According to the DOJ, booksellers were unnerved by the discounted e-book price structure Amazon launched in 2007. The publishers went to Apple in late 2009 to find a way to force Amazon to raise its prices. The iPad proved to be the perfect tool to accomplish that.

The alleged conspiracy placed many books at so-called "agency pricing," putting them on the market for about $12.99 and giving Apple a 30% cut. About three days later, Amazon allowed publishers to set their own prices, resulting in higher prices on the Kindle as well.

"This action drove up e-book prices virtually overnight," said Sharis Pozen, head of the DOJ's antitrust division, at a news conference. "Let me be clear: When companies enter agreements that prevent price competition, that is illegal."

Apple is going to be the one hung out to dry here because everyone else is already settling while Apple is digging in. The reason they are digging in is because they believe they are entitled to a 30% cut even with an inferior solution.

Quote:

The Justice Department settled with three of the publishers -- HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Hachette -- requiring them to grant retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble (BKS, Fortune 500) the freedom to reduce prices.

The publishers will also be forced to tear up their current agreements with Apple and other e-book publishers and negotiate new, fair, and legal agreements.

"The settlement will begin to undo harm and restore price-competition," Pozen added. "It will result in lower e-book prices and provide a more open and fair marketplace."

The DOJ said it would "vigorously" pursue its claims against Apple, Pearson and Macmillan, which opted not to settle.

There are plenty of times where Apple is right in what they are doing. There are plenty of times where Apple isn't right but their solution is good enough and they have enough good will to still have a positive outcome even with a marginal product or service. This time they are flat out wrong. Apple's technological solution is inferior and available only on iOS devices. They are demanding higher prices and removal of price competition from all competitors as a means of not having their inferior solution exploited and harming them in terms of market losses.

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post #94 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Apple is going to be the one hung out to dry here because everyone else is already settling while Apple is digging in. The reason they are digging in is because they believe they are entitled to a 30% cut even with an inferior solution.

Or maybe Apple knows that they didn't do anything wrong and refuse to be blackmailed. So where's your evidence proving that they're guilty and know that they're guilty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

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.

You keep making that claim - and there's no evidence to support it.

The claim you keep making is that Apple demanded that the publishers refuse to sell to anyone if they asked for a price lower than Apple. That's not what the agreement says. It says that if the publisher sells to anyone at a lower price, they have to match that price for Apple. It's called a 'most favored nation' clause and is fully legal - and has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

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.

Walmart is very careful not to sell under their costs. Selling under their costs for an entire division would most certainly end them up with a predatory pricing lawsuit.

The rest of your argument is equally inane. First, there WERE other companies selling eBooks at the time Amazon set their $9.99 price. Second, even if there weren't, it's irrelevant. Selling an entire product line at a cost below your cost in order to keep competition from getting established is most certainly an example of predatory pricing.
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post #95 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Walmart is very careful not to sell under their costs. Selling under their costs for an entire division would most certainly end them up with a predatory pricing lawsuit.
The rest of your argument is equally inane. First, there WERE other companies selling eBooks at the time Amazon set their $9.99 price. Second, even if there weren't, it's irrelevant. Selling an entire product line at a cost below your cost in order to keep competition from getting established is most certainly an example of predatory pricing.

You have proof that Amazon was selling their entire line of e-books below their cost? Is it your claim that Amazon is guilty of predatory pricing, an illegal act? I'm trying to make sure I understand the argument you're making.


Edited by Gatorguy - 5/15/12 at 2:30pm
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post #96 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

 

It's called the basic facts that have been reported on this issue.

 

Look at that link. 

Actually, what I had in mind, as jragosta points out above, is the 'most favored nation' clause that Apple is using as its defense (I was confusing it with the in-app purchase issue, which was something that Apple ran into with magazine/newspaper publishers). I.e., everyone gets the same price.

 

I await your reply to jragosta based on the 'basic facts'.

post #97 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

If you'll take the time to read the DoJ complaint, it's as Trumptman says. The prices that Apple and the 5 publishers agreed upon are the minimum permitted selling prices. Assuming Apple sells for the publishers suggested price rather than a higher one, Amazon cannot undercut them on pricing. The publisher's guaranteed that to Apple...

according to the DoJ complaint.

Explain the role of the MFN clause, then. (The fact that DoJ "made a complaint" doesn't necessarily mean the complaint is right).

post #98 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You have proof that Amazon was selling their entire line of e-books below their cost? Is it your claim that Amazon is guilty of predatory pricing, an illegal act? I'm trying to make sure I understand the argument you're making.

(1) From what see, he said no such thing; (2) I notice that you seemed to (conveniently?) ignore his other points.

post #99 of 101

I didn't have a question about his other points.

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post #100 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Explain the role of the MFN clause, then. (The fact that DoJ "made a complaint" doesn't necessarily mean the complaint is right).

No need to as I'm not privy to what the DoJ has in hand to support their claim. Until (or if) the DoJ shares details and supporting documents it all just complaints and assertions. You apparently were surprised and unaware of what the complaints were going by your post and I just wanted to point you to what the DoJ published as evidence of what was being claimed.

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


Or maybe Apple knows that they didn't do anything wrong and refuse to be blackmailed. So where's your evidence proving that they're guilty and know that they're guilty?
You keep making that claim - and there's no evidence to support it.
The claim you keep making is that Apple demanded that the publishers refuse to sell to anyone if they asked for a price lower than Apple. That's not what the agreement says. It says that if the publisher sells to anyone at a lower price, they have to match that price for Apple. It's called a 'most favored nation' clause and is fully legal - and has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
Walmart is very careful not to sell under their costs. Selling under their costs for an entire division would most certainly end them up with a predatory pricing lawsuit.
The rest of your argument is equally inane. First, there WERE other companies selling eBooks at the time Amazon set their $9.99 price. Second, even if there weren't, it's irrelevant. Selling an entire product line at a cost below your cost in order to keep competition from getting established is most certainly an example of predatory pricing.

Whats inane is you believing that Amazon sells ALL ebooks at or under cost and its just not true. That is why there hasnt been no "predatory pricing" lawsuit set against them. I never claimed Apple demanded anything. 

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