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Apple calls DoJ e-book settlement proposal unlawful, says trial is needed

post #1 of 111
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In a strongly-worded legal memo filed on Wednesday, Apple opposed the U.S. Department of Justice's settlement proposal which would have the company dismantle its current e-book business structure with three major publishing houses.

Apple's filing, first reported by paidContent is in response to a recent DoJ memorandum in support of a proposed settlement, which asked the New York district court handling the case to hand down a decision without any further hearings. The government argues that a quick final judgment would be in the best interest of consumers as well as the settling parties, which would no longer have to pay fees for ongoing litigation.

Apple counsel disagrees, writing that the proposed judgment would "terminate and rewrite Apple's bargained-for contracts" before evidence, witness testimony and disputed facts are resolved at trial. The Court's decision would be final and irreversible, Apple says, noting that the company can't simply reinstate terminated contracts if it were to win a court trial in the future.

From Apple's memo:

Apple has not settled with the Government; it denies the allegations against it and is actively defending this case. Apple has never participated in, encouraged, or sought to benefit from collusion. It has no objection to the Proposed Judgment?s bar on collusion. But the Government proposes to go much further.[?]Nullifying a non-settling defendant?s negotiated contract rights by another?s settlement is fundamentally unfair, unlawful, and unprecedented. The Government does not cite a single case in which such relief was granted without a trial or merits determination.


At issue is Apple's so-called agency model, in which a publisher is free to set e-book pricing in a "most favored nations" agreement that forbids them from offering the same content to another reseller at a lower price. According to the DoJ, Apple and its publishing partners used the business plan to falsely inflate the price of e-books, thereby hurting consumers.

Apple claims a settlement would unlawfully penalize the company, and grants more relief than a negative post-trial decision would yield.

At the heart of the matter, says Apple, is the alleged conspiracy to force Amazon to adopt the agency model. To that end, "a settlement enjoining collusion or precluding publishers from forcing agency on Amazon would be appropriate." However, the government seeks to reach a favorable judgment without a fair trial, and "justifies the termination of Apple?s contracts before trial on the grounds that they are causing ongoing harm." There has yet to be any finding of antitrust violation, and Apple claims the agency model hasn't been proven to have forced publishers to adopt it with other resellers.



In a footnote to one of Apple's claims, the company takes aim at Amazon and the internet sales giant's role in the proceedings:

For example, many expressed concerns about the possibility that the Government has unwittingly placed a thumb on the scales in favor of Amazon, the industry monopolist. Amazon was the driving force behind the Government?s investigation, and it told a story to the Government that has yet to be scrutinized. Amazon talked with the Government repeatedly throughout the investigation, even hosting a two-day meeting at its Seattle headquarters. In all, the Government met with at least fourteen Amazon employees—yet not once under oath. The Government required that Amazon turn over a mere 4,500 documents, a fraction of what was required of others.


Two of the book publishers named in the settlement also filed opposition memos on Wednesday, with Penguin citing sales figures in support of the agency model. The company states the DoJ "argues that, as the Government, it has access to 'secret' sales data from other retailers—access that, for example, B&N lacks. But DOJ never says what its secret data shows."

Most recently, the DoJ dismissed 868 public comments in favor of Apple's e-book sales model, refusing to modify the proposed settlement's terms and alleging that Amazon's dominant market position has been overstated.

Apple suggests the Court defer judgment until after the case goes to trial in June 2013.
post #2 of 111
Then Prove It.
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post #3 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Then Prove It.


Exactly!

The government must prove collusion.

post #4 of 111
I believe the following statement in the article to be false - "At issue is Apple's so-called agency model, in which a publisher is free to set e-book pricing in a "most favored nations" agreement that forbids them from offering the same content to another reseller at a lower price."

In fact, I believe the agreement said that if they offered a lower price to another company, they needed to offer the same price to Apple. That is much different than "forbid" from offering lowere prices.
post #5 of 111
Sounds like a good old fashion request for railroading.
post #6 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

In fact, I believe the agreement said that if they offered a lower price to another company, they needed to offer the same price to Apple. That is much different than "forbid" from offering lowere prices.

Under the "agency model", the publisher sets the selling price that the reselling is obligated to charge the customer.

Under a contract with a "most favored nations" clause, the publisher cannot sell to any other reseller at a lower price.

The combination of the two means that no reseller can sell an ebook from one of these publishers to the customer for less than it's sold in Apple's store. Apple's 30% take means that for publishers to continue receiving the same amount per book that they were getting prior to the shift, the publisher must raise the selling price above what it was.
post #7 of 111
At least in a full trial Apple can drag Amazon fully into this and demonstrate how this benefits the monopolist in the market.
post #8 of 111
As long as the best outcome for consumers is met, I could care less about whoever may be a monopolist or who colluded.

Consumer first.
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post #9 of 111
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Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post

As long as the best outcome for consumers is met, I could care less about whoever may be a monopolist or who colluded.
Consumer first.

I would amend your last two-word sentence to: Consumer first AND last.

 

In the case of Amazon, with monopolistic power, under the old model had the ability to sell e-books below cost (while making profits on other items) UNTIL they have run out of business all the other outlet competitors. THEN as the only source for the e-books Amazon can raise prices to whatever they wish to the consumer. 

 

So, the consumer, AT FIRST, can see lower prices, but in the END will pay higher prices.

 

There is also a good argument for a balance of power between the various publishers and outlets. One large and overly powerful outlet (Amazon) can then dictate to the publishers how to do business. Ultimately this can destroy the whole market, in addition to making e-books more costly.

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post #10 of 111
I doubt the DoJ will want to take this to court. I'm predicting they will settle.

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post #11 of 111
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I doubt the DoJ will want to take this to court. I'm predicting they will settle.

 

What is there to settle? Apple denies all allegations DoJ has claimed.

 

You've got to admit, DoJ's track record on these shaky cases hasn't been great...they've consistently come up short and lost...John Edwards, Roger Clemens, etc.

 

They are just looking for a way to save face on this one before another embarrassing lawsuit loss.

 

Good on Apple for defending vigorously and demanding Justice prove their allegations in court. Should be fun watching a bunch of GS 12/13/14 lawyers making $125k/year going up against Apple's $750-$1000/hour corporate lawyers.

post #12 of 111
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Originally Posted by Felix01 View Post

 

What is there to settle? Apple denies all allegations DoJ has claimed.

 

You've got to admit, DoJ's track record on these shaky cases hasn't been great...they've consistently come up short and lost...John Edwards, Roger Clemens, etc.

 

They are just looking for a way to save face on this one before another embarrassing lawsuit loss.

 

Good on Apple for defending vigorously and demanding Justice prove their allegations in court. Should be fun watching a bunch of GS 12/13/14 lawyers making $125k/year going up against Apple's $750-$1000/hour corporate lawyers.

 

Plus, it seems clear now that the DoJ was played by Amazon in this instance. The only acceptable settlement would be for the DoJ to drop the whole thing, including the settlements with the publishers who were cowed into giving up. But, clearly there are some enormous egos at play at DoJ who aren't voluntarily going to admit that the totally blew it.

post #13 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

I believe the following statement in the article to be false - "At issue is Apple's so-called agency model, in which a publisher is free to set e-book pricing in a "most favored nations" agreement that forbids them from offering the same content to another reseller at a lower price."
In fact, I believe the agreement said that if they offered a lower price to another company, they needed to offer the same price to Apple. That is much different than "forbid" from offering lowere prices.

See I don't get that. Does Apple buy the ebook or does it just handle the transaction then collect 30%?
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post #14 of 111
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Originally Posted by EWTHeckman View Post

Under the "agency model", the publisher sets the selling price that the reselling is obligated to charge the customer.
Under a contract with a "most favored nations" clause, the publisher cannot sell to any other reseller at a lower price.
The combination of the two means that no reseller can sell an ebook from one of these publishers to the customer for less than it's sold in Apple's store. Apple's 30% take means that for publishers to continue receiving the same amount per book that they were getting prior to the shift, the publisher must raise the selling price above what it was.

That's essentially what FreeRange was saying.

He was arguing against the wording. The article stated that no one could sell below list price. That is not correct. If a publisher chooses to do so, they could offer anyone a discount off of list price - as long as they include the company with the MFN clause. The difference is subtle, but important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post

As long as the best outcome for consumers is met, I could care less about whoever may be a monopolist or who colluded.
Consumer first.

And what's the best outcome? Oh, yeah - it's what Apple has done. Break up the Amazon monopoly so that there's real competition in the market rather than one company controlling everything - with the potential to greatly raise prices in the future and/or control what content gets distributed.
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post #15 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

I would amend your last two-word sentence to: Consumer first AND last.

In the case of Amazon, with monopolistic power, under the old model had the ability to sell e-books below cost (while making profits on other items) UNTIL they have run out of business all the other outlet competitors. THEN as the only source for the e-books Amazon can raise prices to whatever they wish to the consumer. 

So, the consumer, AT FIRST, can see lower prices, but in the END will pay higher prices.

There is also a good argument for a balance of power between the various publishers and outlets. One large and overly powerful outlet (Amazon) can then dictate to the publishers how to do business. Ultimately this can destroy the whole market, in addition to making e-books more costly.

Says who? You have zero proof that Amazon would raise prices. They didn't raise them while they were almost a monopoly so what would it let you believe that they would? That's an outright lie used to bolster your argument for Apple.
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post #16 of 111
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Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Says who? You have zero proof that Amazon would raise prices. They didn't raise them while they were almost a monopoly so what would it let you believe that they would? That's an outright lie used to bolster your argument for Apple.

 

The history of monopolies contradicts your "argument". There's no reason to expect that once Amazon is able to consolidate its monopoly that it won't behave like monopolists almost always do; they aren't a charitable institution, after all. It's mere wishful thinking on your part to think they wouldn't.

post #17 of 111

As opposed to preeminent legal scholars like Eric Holder...

post #18 of 111

Thank you, Apple, for having the courage to stand-up for what is right.  

post #19 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The history of monopolies contradicts your "argument". There's no reason to expect that once Amazon is able to consolidate its monopoly that it won't behave like monopolists almost always do; they aren't a charitable institution, after all. It's mere wishful thinking on your part to think they wouldn't.

Still only makes at best a could have scenario, because it has happened in the past does not guarantee it'll happen again. Had the poster written "if allowed to gain a monopoly Amazon can then raise prices unchecked" I would not argue against in fact I'd agree, but to say "Amazon will raise prices" as an unfounded scare tactic to get someone to see things Apple's way, that I'll challenge every single time.
Edited by dasanman69 - 8/16/12 at 5:55am
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post #20 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Still only makes at best a could have scenario, because it has happened in the past does not guarantee it'll happen again.

 

You apparently don't recognize how ridiculous your argument is (It's ok, that happens a lot around here). You are essentially arguing that since we can't prove Amazon would raise prices, we must assume that they won't. But, you fail to acknowledge that you can't prove they won't either. Therefore, what we do have to go on is how these things have played out in the past, which is that monopolies that control entire industries result in consumer harm through higher prices, among other things. This history is, in fact, the entire basis of our anti-trust law. Yet, you and the DoJ are arguing that we should ignore that history, ignore the basis  for the law, and just trust Amazon to, "do the right thing." The reasonable assumption, however, based on our previous experience with monopolies, is that we cannot trust them to act in the public interest (and why would they?), but contrary to it. Thus, the only rational conclusion is that a government sanctioned Amazon monopoly, which is what the outcome will be if the DoJ prevails, will be harmful to consumers and result in higher prices and less choice.

 

You see, when you apply logic and reason, not emotions and wishes, to problems, the conclusions are pretty straightforward.

post #21 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

You apparently don't recognize how ridiculous your argument is (It's ok, that happens a lot around here). You are essentially arguing that since we can't prove Amazon would raise prices, we must assume that they won't. But, you fail to acknowledge that you can't prove they won't either. Therefore, what we do have to go on is how these things have played out in the past, which is that monopolies that control entire industries result in consumer harm through higher prices, among other things. This history is, in fact, the entire basis of our anti-trust law. Yet, you and the DoJ are arguing that we should ignore that history, ignore the basis  for the law, and just trust Amazon to, "do the right thing." The reasonable assumption, however, based on our previous experience with monopolies, is that we cannot trust them to act in the public interest (and why would they?), but contrary to it. Thus, the only rational conclusion is that a government sanctioned Amazon monopoly, which is what the outcome will be if the DoJ prevails, will be harmful to consumers and result in higher prices and less choice.

You see, when you apply logic and reason, not emotions and wishes, to problems, the conclusions are pretty straightforward.

Show me where I said they won't. I don't want Amazon to have a monopoly, my problem is that the publishers entered into an agreement with Apple that directly conflicted with their agreement with Amazon and assured that they'll never be a free market on ebooks because there had to be a price guarantee across the board. If Amazon wants to price a book lower than it is in the iBook store it should be their right and only their business to do so. I don't believe Apple is guilty of anything other than doing what's best for them.
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post #22 of 111
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Originally Posted by Felix01 View Post

What is there to settle? Apple denies all allegations DoJ has claimed.

You've got to admit, DoJ's track record on these shaky cases hasn't been great...they've consistently come up short and lost...John Edwards, Roger Clemens, etc.

They are just looking for a way to save face on this one before another embarrassing lawsuit loss.

Good on Apple for defending vigorously and demanding Justice prove their allegations in court. Should be fun watching a bunch of GS 12/13/14 lawyers making $125k/year going up against Apple's $750-$1000/hour corporate lawyers.

I don't understand your query? You make a statement about not understanding why the DoJ would want this to be settled before it goes to court but then make comments that show that you know why the DoJ would want to to settle.

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post #23 of 111
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Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post

As long as the best outcome for consumers is met, I could care less about whoever may be a monopolist or who colluded.
Consumer first.

Not sure if you know what the best outcome as a consumer is if it hit you in the face.

Just guessin'.......'
post #24 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I don't understand your query? You make a statement about not understanding why the DoJ would want this to be settled before it goes to court but then make comments that show that you know why the DoJ would want to to settle.

That's not what he said. Clearly the DOJ wants to settle - especially since they're asking for remedies that are worse than what would likely be handed down by the court even if Apple loses a case.

His comments appeared to be directed at Apple. Apple has denied all the allegations and apparently believes there's nothing to settle. They believe they did nothing wrong and have no desire to destroy their eBook business over a non-issue.
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post #25 of 111
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Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Apple has denied all the allegations and apparently believes there's nothing to settle. They believe they did nothing wrong and have no desire to destroy their eBook business over a non-issue.

So you say Apple nothing to settle but is also claiming the opposite of their accuser's position. How the hell can you say there is no disagreement to settle? Apple wants the court case because they are certain that would settle this case in their favour and, from I can tell, are expecting the DoJ to settle out of court to prevent embarrassment. Now that iBooks is established I'm guessing Apple would give up the most favoured nation clause.

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post #26 of 111
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So you say Apple nothing to settle but is also claiming the opposite of their accuser's position. How the hell can you say there is no disagreement to settle? Apple wants the court case because they are certain that would settle this case in their favour and, from I can tell, are expecting the DoJ to settle out of court to prevent embarrassment. Now that iBooks is established I'm guessing Apple would give up the most favoured nation clause.

I think that will be the outcome as well. An amended agreement versus a broken one is much better. I'm curious if the agreements with Amazon and the publishers are of a time length. At contract renewal time the publishers will have more leverage to get a agency model over the wholesale model because of competitors like Apple.
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post #27 of 111
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Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post

As long as the best outcome for consumers is met, I could care less about whoever may be a monopolist or who colluded.
Consumer first.

 

Wow, morals certainly aren't your strong point are they?  

post #28 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So you say Apple nothing to settle but is also claiming the opposite of their accuser's position. How the hell can you say there is no disagreement to settle? Apple wants the court case because they are certain that would settle this case in their favour and, from I can tell, are expecting the DoJ to settle out of court to prevent embarrassment. Now that iBooks is established I'm guessing Apple would give up the most favoured nation clause.

I believe what he's saying is that companies settle when there is some mutual ground for agreement. If Apple felt that they were on shaky ground or that they were partially in the wrong, they would have a reason to approach the DOJ about settlement.

When the two parties are completely diametrically opposed, chances of reaching an agreement are slim to none.
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post #29 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So you say Apple nothing to settle but is also claiming the opposite of their accuser's position. How the hell can you say there is no disagreement to settle? Apple wants the court case because they are certain that would settle this case in their favour and, from I can tell, are expecting the DoJ to settle out of court to prevent embarrassment. Now that iBooks is established I'm guessing Apple would give up the most favoured nation clause.

"Settling" has nothing to do with "settling a disagreement". To settle in this context is to come to some kind of compromise, to reach a verdict that both parties can accept. The defendant (Apple) would have to admit to wrong doing, perhaps to a lesser crime, but perhaps be spared the expense and ignominy of a public trial; and in exchange, the DOJ would offer a smaller fine/punishment.

Guilty defendants settle -- or those who have no way to present their own case and feel the evidence is stacked circumstantially against them and don't want to put their life in the hands of a jury which would be a lottery. Better to take ten years for a lesser crime than risk life or execution.

He was saying that the DoJ wants Apple to settle out of court. Ostensibly because the DoJ has no real case against Apple and will be embarrassed in open court. So why should Apple "settle" and admit any wrong doing when it believes there is no case?

Of course there is a disagreement to settle -- the DoJ believes there is a case, and Apple believes there isn't a case. That's exactly what Apple wants to show the world. Apple will be justified and their position on the disagreement will be vindicated. The DoJ will have to reinstate the earlier contracts or compensate the accused parties in some way, or maybe start a case against Amazon. Unless the DoJ just drops all charges now --- that is what the DoJ can do now to "settle out of court".
Edited by krabbelen - 8/16/12 at 7:46am
post #30 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Show me where I said they won't. I don't want Amazon to have a monopoly, my problem is that the publishers entered into an agreement with Apple that directly conflicted with their agreement with Amazon and assured that they'll never be a free market on ebooks because there had to be a price guarantee across the board. If Amazon wants to price a book lower than it is in the iBook store it should be their right and only their business to do so. I don't believe Apple is guilty of anything other than doing what's best for them.

 

When you declare the opposite position "a lie" it's fairly clear what you are asserting, even if you think it offers you plausible deniability.

 

But, of course, your argument continues to ignore a number of facts. First of all, the most favored nation clause doesn't fix the price, it just says, "you won't screw us by making us sell it for more than you allow other people." Regardless of how some want to twist that into price fixing, it's really just a fairness clause. Secondly, there has been no general increase in eBook prices as a result of Apple's entry into the eBook market. And lastly, the agreements in place before the DoJ interfered in the market in its misguided attempt to shore up Amazon's crumbling monopoly, restored a healthy balance that going forward would have fostered competition and choice. There is absolutely no upside for anyone to the DoJ's actions, other than for Amazon. Publisher's get screwed, all other booksellers get screwed, and the public bears the brunt of devastating an industry because some legal hacks in Washington didn't understand what they were getting involved in and are unable to swallow their pride and admit they screwed up.

post #31 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

I believe the following statement in the article to be false - "At issue is Apple's so-called agency model, in which a publisher is free to set e-book pricing in a "most favored nations" agreement that forbids them from offering the same content to another reseller at a lower price."
In fact, I believe the agreement said that if they offered a lower price to another company, they needed to offer the same price to Apple. That is much different than "forbid" from offering lowere prices.

Thank you. I too found that worded in correctly. Left me scratching my head.

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post #32 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by ignatz View Post

 

  If it wasn't for Apple, Amazon would be a monopoly with nobody else selling eBooks,  With Apple, the publishers are fee to set prices where they should be, instead of Amazon screwing consumers.

 

The publishers know how much the books should cost, and they have every incentive to compete.

 

But the DOJ wants to make the contracts between Apple and the publishers illegal.  All that will do is to raise prices for consumers.

Didn't SJ say that the agency model 'would raise prices, but that is what the publishers want anyway'?

 

How is it that Apple is using a model which raises prices good for consumers?

 

Don't know about you, but any 'model' which raises prices I don't want. And i can assure you 99% of people also will not be in favor of any model which raises prices. 

 

Here's the quote: "We'll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304444604577337573054615152.html

 

Why must we pay a little more? Why didn't Apple instead take 20% and have us pay a little less? And the worst part, why FORCE amazon to have to use the same model if it means amazon has to RAISE prices on consumers? I understand they want ever higher margins, but c'mon, their margins are already the highest probably of any company in the world ever. How greedy are they?


Edited by sleepy3 - 8/16/12 at 8:19am
post #33 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

When you declare the opposite position "a lie" it's fairly clear what you are asserting, even if you think it offers you plausible deniability.

But, of course, your argument continues to ignore a number of facts. First of all, the most favored nation clause doesn't fix the price, it just says, "you won't screw us by making us sell it for more than you allow other people." Regardless of how some want to twist that into price fixing, it's really just a fairness clause. Secondly, there has been no general increase in eBook prices as a result of Apple's entry into the eBook market. And lastly, the agreements in place before the DoJ interfered in the market in its misguided attempt to shore up Amazon's crumbling monopoly, restored a healthy balance that going forward would have fostered competition and choice. There is absolutely no upside for anyone to the DoJ's actions, other than for Amazon. Publisher's get screwed, all other booksellers get screwed, and the public bears the brunt of devastating an industry because some legal hacks in Washington didn't understand what they were getting involved in and are unable to swallow their pride and admit they screwed up.

I'll agree that there's the possibility of Amazon raising prices, saying that they absolutely will without much merit is what I called a lie. What if I went around saying "Amazon won't raise prices", most here would argue against me. I'm also in agreement with the most of your post. I have seen studies where prices have gone up and some have gone down. Now how's that possible? I believe that while some books were underpriced others were overpriced. I believe ultimately the agency model will level out the pricing "see saw".
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post #34 of 111
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Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

Didn't SJ say that the agency model 'would raise prices, but that is what the publishers want anyway'?

How is it that Apple is using a model which raises prices good for consumers?

Don't know about you, but any 'model' which raises prices I don't want. And i can assure you 99% of people also will not be in favor of any model which raises prices. 


But is what Apple did illegal? Is Justice about what 99% of the people want or is it about what the law is? 99% of "the people" might want a government to regulate pricing but that doesn't make it legal.
post #35 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


But is what Apple did illegal? Is Justice about what 99% of the people want or is it about what the law is? 99% of "the people" might want a government to regulate pricing but that doesn't make it legal.

I didn't include any opinion about whether it was legal or not. I'm just talking from a moral standpoint. Why do that to people? Why not just compete with Amazon and beat their pricing?

 

Then again, Apple is all about a premium experience. Keep the more expensive books and offer something on top that makes it worth the extra money and see if consumers are willing to pay more for the same book but with the Apple experience. 

 

Don't go forcing the publishers to make Amazon accept the agency model which will have them raise their prices. Let the consumer decide. 

 

Pay Apple more....or pay amazon less. Consumers regularly pay more for Apple products anyway, so you never know, charging more may have worked without having to force amazon into the same model. 

post #36 of 111
A
Quote:
Originally Posted by ignatz View Post


Apple doesn't buy the eBooks.  All they do is act as a conduit for the publishers, who sell directly to the consumer.  The publisher sells its own stuff, at the price it wants.  The DOJ wants Apple to set the prices, but Apple will just set the prices at the level the publishers expect.

That's the crazy thing.  The DOJ wants to drag Apple into he middle of things, when Apple has nothing to do with setting prices.  If it wasn't for Apple, Amazon would be a monopoly with nobody else selling eBooks,  With Apple, the publishers are fee to set prices where they should be, instead of Amazon screwing consumers.

The publishers know how much the books should cost, and they have every incentive to compete.

But the DOJ wants to make the contracts between Apple and the publishers illegal.  All that will do is to raise prices for consumers.

Then why the clause that "a publisher cannot offer the content to a reseller lower than it does to Apple". If Apple is just handling the transaction then they aren't buying anything from the wholesalers (publishers).
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #37 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post


Exactly!
The government must prove collusion.

It goes deeper than that. The DoJ had ample proof against the publishers but not Apple which of course Apple would want on record.

But Apple is also fighting the idea that the agency model is unlawful and the idea that the DoJ has the right to decide the 'right' pricing for ebooks.

AND, this is the kicker, Apple is arguing that the DoJ had no right to terminate Apple's contracts with those houses that have settled.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #38 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

In fact, I believe the agreement said that if they offered a lower price to another company, they needed to offer the same price to Apple. That is much different than "forbid" from offering lowere prices.

It's a little bit of a semantics game, but yes. It keeps the playing field level. Much like street dates do.

And Amazon has and has had the same clause for ages. And uses it.

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post #39 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

I didn't include any opinion about whether it was legal or not. I'm just talking from a moral standpoint. Why do that to people? Why not just compete with Amazon and beat their pricing?

Then again, Apple is all about a premium experience. Keep the more expensive books and offer something on top that makes it worth the extra money and see if consumers are willing to pay more for the same book but with the Apple experience. 

Don't go forcing the publishers to make Amazon accept the agency model which will have them raise their prices. Let the consumer decide. 

Pay Apple more....or pay amazon less. Consumers regularly pay more for Apple products anyway, so you never know, charging more may have worked without having to force amazon into the same model. 

This is a rare instance that Apple cannot give a much better product nor experience. A book purchased from iBooks can only be read on iOS devices, a book I buy from Amazon can be read on my iPad, my Android phone, and my PC.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #40 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

See I don't get that. Does Apple buy the ebook or does it just handle the transaction then collect 30%?

The latter.

Amazon's model was the former, with the publisher having zero say in the price. Which was often drastically down from the print pricing and thus the devaluing issues.

Remember that there are huge costs to publishers even outside of printing. They have to recover all those costs and if ebooks with a scant profit are costing them sales of more profitable physical books, that is an issue for them. They are getting painted as trying to screw consumers but they are just trying to run a business that is in a major changeover. A business where few really understand the details. When ebooks become THE books then pricing will naturally fall. Just like it did with VHS, DVD, BluRay and so on

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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