or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › European Union expected to accept Apple's e-book settlement
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

European Union expected to accept Apple's e-book settlement

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Regulators with the European Union are reportedly set to accept an offer made by Apple and four book publishers to settle an antitrust investigation.

The deal aims to avoid fines for the companies and will allow retailers that compete with Apple's iBooks ??namely Amazon ??to sell e-books for lower prices, according to Reuters.

Apple will be joined by Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillan in the settlement with the European Commission. The settlement was first proposed in September.

The European Commission already announced months ago that it was willing to drop its probe into an alleged price fixing scheme by Apple and the four publishers after they agreed to let Amazon sell the same e-books at discounted prices for a period of two years.

European Commission
EU flags flying in front of the European Commission's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. | Source: European Commission


First launched in December 2011, the Commission's inquiry was related to Apple's so-called "agency model," which allows book publishers to set the prices for e-books sold in the iBookstore under a most favored nations clause. That meant the houses couldn't sell their product elsewhere for a lower price.

If the investigation were to have found the companies in violation of European antitrust laws, they each faced penalties equaling up to 10 percent of revenue from global sales.

The anticipated settlement is similar to the counterpart price-fixing case in the U.S. leveled by the Department of Justice in which HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Hachette recently settled for $69 million. Apple, Penguin Group and Macmillan continue to fight the allegations, with both companies asking for a court trial to decide the matter.
post #2 of 29
More proof that anti-trust laws are complete hog-wash, and hopefully a court trial will expose this nonsense as such
post #3 of 29
Price fixing on books the publishers own? I don't get it.

I'm not arguing for Apple here, in fact, I think eBooks are a joke. There needs to be some sort of "open book format" established (which will probably never happen) where one can move their books (novels) between platforms, whereby the original platform (and publisher) gets the profit, but using your 'open book format login' on any platform shows your books there for your viewing/reading pleasure/convenience.

Being tied to a specific digital book platform is just not right IMO. Apps and text books are different, novels are just text in a specific order.
Edited by Ireland - 11/6/12 at 8:36am
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #4 of 29
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
Price fixing on books the publishers own? I don't get it.

 

Going after Apple, not Amazon, for price fixing? I don't get it.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Going after Apple, not Amazon, for price fixing? I don't get it.

 

Amazon has price-fixed eBooks? I don't get it.

post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Price fixing on books the publishers own? I don't get it.
I'm not arguing for Apple here, in fact, I think eBooks are a joke. There needs to be some sort of "open book format" established (which will probably never happen) where one can move their books (novels) between platforms, whereby the original platform (and publisher) gets the profit, but using your 'open book format login' on any platform shows your books there for your viewing/reading pleasure/convenience.
Being tied to a specific digital book platform is just not right IMO. Apps and text books are different, novels are just text in a specific order.

1) eBooks are a joke? Seriously?

2) EPUB is a free and open standard. Guess who doesn't use EPUB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Amazon has price-fixed eBooks? I don't get it.

Amazon's eBook policies are anti-competive. They were fixing the prices for sale whereas Apple was allowing the distributors set prices.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

2) EPUB is a free and open standard. Guess who doesn't use EPUB?

 

The problem isn't the book formats (not entirely), it's that the DRM is different for every bookseller. So, even if ePub were used exclusively by everyone, you still have the problem that you can't read iBook Bookstore books on Kindles and you can't read Kindle books in iBooks. It's just like the mess we used to have in music, and the only reason for it is to lock people into a specific seller. The result of it is that if the DRM format of your books ends up unsupported, your books may become unreadable.

 

Imagine if physical books required a special set of glasses to read, depending on where you buy them. You don't want to have to carry around and keep track of a dozen pairs of glasses, so you buy all your books from the same bookstore. Great for them, not so much for you. If your bookseller goes out of business, or just stops printing books for your glasses, and you break your glasses, now you can't read any of your books.

 

That's exactly the situation in eBooks today, and why I avoid eBooks with DRM. That pretty much limits me to Project Gutenberg books, and books I scan and OCR. I have no interest in spending my money on books I may not be able to read someday. (I have physical books printed over 100 years ago that are still in fine shape for reading. So, while they may not last forever, they can last a long, long time -- more than a generation or three.)

 

The DRM mess in eBooks hinders wider adoption by the public, and, at the same time, as they do become more widely accepted, will lead to the same piracy problems we've seen with other content. It doesn't have to be that way.

 

Edit: Also, the demand for DRM makes it difficult for small players to enter the market, which hinders competition in the bookselling industry.

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


1) eBooks are a joke? Seriously?
2) EPUB is a free and open standard. Guess who doesn't use EPUB?

 

Yes, but that doesn't mean the platforms are iteroperable. They are not. If they all used EPUB nothing would change, because of DRM. All the vendors use different DRM and different logins for their platforms.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The problem isn't the book formats (not entirely), it's that the DRM is different for every bookseller. So, even if ePub were used exclusively by everyone, you still have the problem that you can't read iBook Bookstore books on Kindles and you can't read Kindle books in iBooks.

 

Thank you.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Yes, but that doesn't mean the platforms are iteroperable. They are not. If they all used EPUB nothing would change, because of DRM. All the vendors used different DRM and different logins.

But you didn't say that the DRM wasn't interchangeable, you said EPUB wasn't open. You might as well say H.264, AAC and anything else that can be DRMed isn't a standard simply because it can be wrapped in DRM.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

The problem isn't the book formats (not entirely), it's that the DRM is different for every bookseller. So, even if ePub were used exclusively by everyone, you still have the problem that you can't read iBook Bookstore books on Kindles and you can't read Kindle books in iBooks. It's just like the mess we used to have in music, and the only reason for it is to lock people into a specific seller. The result of it is that if the DRM format of your books ends up unsupported, your books may become unreadable.

 

Imagine if physical books required a special set of glasses to read, depending on where you buy them. You don't want to have to carry around and keep track of a dozen pairs of glasses, so you buy all your books from the same bookstore. Great for them, not so much for you. If your bookseller goes out of business, or just stops printing books for your glasses, and you break your glasses, now you can't read any of your books.

 

That's exactly the situation in eBooks today, and why I avoid eBooks with DRM. That pretty much limits me to Project Gutenberg books, and books I scan and OCR. I have no interest in spending my money on books I may not be able to read someday. (I have physical books printed over 100 years ago that are still in fine shape for reading. So, while they may not last forever, they can last a long, long time -- more than a generation or three.)

 

The DRM mess in eBooks hinders wider adoption by the public, and, at the same time, as they do become more widely accepted, will lead to the same piracy problems we've seen with other content. It doesn't have to be that way.

 

Edit: Also, the demand for DRM makes it difficult for small players to enter the market, which hinders competition in the bookselling industry.

 

Great post.

 

What that in mind, what is your opinion of this post of mine from January of this year?

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Great post.

What that in mind, what is your opinion of this post of mine from January of this year?

I'd prefer no DRM at all, because it's always possible for the industry to abandon any DRM system. The music industry has largely abandoned DRM, and there's no reason to view the book industry (or the movie industry, for that matter) as fundamentally different. But I would not want to have DRM tied to an account that I have to sign into where all my books are recorded. Any DRM system needs to work more like SSL certificates, where "signing" can be done by anyone "approved" to sign books, and any reader can read them, obviously there are some differences, and the devil would be in the details.

But, I'm not sure I'd get on board with any DRM system for books.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Amazon's eBook policies are anti-competive. They were fixing the prices for sale whereas Apple was allowing the distributors set prices.
Your claim is just the opposite of the reality... Apple conspired to fix the ebooks pricing with several major publishers, not Amazon...
Quote:
In April 2012, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) brought a civil antitrust action against Apple, HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Books, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette Book Group, Inc., alleging violations of the Sherman Act.[21][22] The suit was filed in the Southern District of New York and alleges the defendants conspired to restrain retail price competition in the sale of e-books because they viewed Amazon's price discounting as a substantial challenge to their traditional business model.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Inc._litigation#Federal_eBook_price-fixing_claims
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post

Your claim is just the opposite of the reality... Apple conspired to fix the ebooks pricing with several major publishers, not Amazon...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Inc._litigation#Federal_eBook_price-fixing_claims

And we know every claim is legit¡

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

And we know every claim is legit¡
What a nonsensical comment... Between your baseless, fairy tale, misrepresentation and spin about the case and the US Department of Justice and the European Union take on it, my guess would be that most unbiased and intellectually honest people -not Tallest Skil- give more credibility to the latter...
post #15 of 29
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post
What a nonsensical comment... 

 

Hang on a tick, it's nonsensical to claim that not every claim is legitimate?

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


I'd prefer no DRM at all, because it's always possible for the industry to abandon any DRM system.

 

Yes, but that's where 'the open book format' comes in. It's interoperable. The problem with books without DRM is books are expensive for a tiny file, unlike music, so without DRM everyone would just pirate them. It'd be much easier to pirate then music, people would just e-mail and IM them around.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #17 of 29
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
Yes, but that's where 'the open book format' comes in. It's interoperable. The problem with books without DRM is books are expensive for a tiny file, unlike music, so without DRM everyone would just pirate them. It'd be much easier to pirate then music, people would just e-mail and IM them around.

 

Music you can e-mail, even… I don't see how a giant book file is easier to e-mail than an MP3.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Hang on a tick, it's nonsensical to claim that not every claim is legitimate?
This is obviously nonsensical to claim that both the US DOJ and an EU commission investigation -which has found Apple and the publishers in violation of European antitrust laws- are illegitimate without backing your fairy tale with anything : indeed. That some delusional people have enough cognitive troubles and intellectual dishonesty to portray Amazon as the price fixer in this case is not just nonsensical: it is nut and ludicrous.
post #19 of 29
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post
This is obviously nonsensical to claim that both the US DOJ and an EU commission investigation -which has found Apple and the publishers in violation of European antitrust laws- are illegitimate without backing your fairy tale with anything : indeed. That some delusional people have enough cognitive troubles and intellectual dishonesty to portray Amazon as the price fixer in this case is not just nonsensical: it is nut and ludicrous.

 

Someone help me out, are any of these words here a reply to what I asked?

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

 

Yes, but that's where 'the open book format' comes in. It's interoperable. The problem with books without DRM is books are expensive for a tiny file, unlike music, so without DRM everyone would just pirate them. It'd be much easier to pirate then music, people would just e-mail and IM them around.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Music you can e-mail, even… I don't see how a giant book file is easier to e-mail than an MP3.

 

Right, these days, there's no practical difference in size between music and eBooks. (For high res movies, bandwidth and file sizes remain something of a deterrent.) DRM on music was a complete failure and simply fueled piracy. DRM on books will end up a failure, and will hinder acceptance and fuel piracy. Booksellers and publishers will end up losing money as a result.

 

Unless Kindle has recently changed recently, it's the worst platform in this regard. (And, lacking all interest in it in the past, I haven't really bothered to follow the platform since.) To get books onto the Kindle (or reader apps) you have to (or at least did have to) load them into your Kindle account, an account that Amazon can kill any time they please (and they have done this to people*) and all your content is gone. At least with iBooks I can directly load stuff from Project Gutenberg or my hard drive into my library.

 

* If this doesn't convince you (anyone) that buying books from Amazon is a fool's errand, I don't know what could. The fact that they can just wipe your account and device any time they please, with no explanation or recourse, seems to be all the evidence required that buying eBooks from Amazon is throwing your money away. And, since only Kindle can be used on their reader hardware, buying that is likewise an exercise in stupidity.


Edited by anonymouse - 11/7/12 at 10:27am
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post

This is obviously nonsensical to claim that both the US DOJ and an EU commission investigation -which has found Apple and the publishers in violation of European antitrust laws- are illegitimate without backing your fairy tale with anything : indeed. That some delusional people have enough cognitive troubles and intellectual dishonesty to portray Amazon as the price fixer in this case is not just nonsensical: it is nut and ludicrous.

 

Amazon does fix prices, the prices that publishers can get for their books, through its monopoly control of the eBook market. If you don't want to accept that, and that Apple/iBooks and deals with publishers opened the market to competition, for publishers and booksellers, again, that's fine, but you are the one who is talking nonsense. Amazon is leveraging it's size and dominance in a number of markets to take complete, end-to-end, control of the publishing and bookselling industries. As for the DoJ, they haven't "found" anything. They have made allegations. The EU has different laws, but it's not clear that there are any actual "findings" there either, just allegations that Apple and publishers are willing to settle on, because the law and "climate" are different there. But, the only fairy tale being spun here is, as usual, yours. The "Findings" you refer to don't actually exist.

 

The only result of these legal actions, in cases where governments succeed, is to consolidate Amazon's monopoly position, which, in the end, will harm publishers, booksellers and consumers. This is a myopic, blindered approach to anti-trust law that defies all common sense. It's so contrary to the public good, in fact, that it amounts to circumstantial evidence of either profound stupidity or corruption on the part of regulators. My guess is the latter.

 

The result of these actions, if regulators are successful, is that Amazon, once it has eliminated all competition in the market place, by being granted monopoly power by governments, will then move on to gouging consumers. They'll also move on to controlling what gets published, and who's allowed to read it.


Edited by anonymouse - 11/7/12 at 10:31am
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post


Your claim is just the opposite of the reality... Apple conspired to fix the ebooks pricing with several major publishers, not Amazon...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Inc._litigation#Federal_eBook_price-fixing_claims

 

Accused is not equal to guilty.

 

A major flaw in your post, which renders it useless.

 

If this gets to court Apple will be exonerated because, quite simply they were not involved in price fixing in any form.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

Accused is not equal to guilty..

You and I absolutely agree on this..

melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post

What a nonsensical comment... Between your baseless, fairy tale, misrepresentation and spin about the case and the US Department of Justice and the European Union take on it, my guess would be that most unbiased and intellectually honest people -not Tallest Skil- give more credibility to the latter...

 

Here, one point from the wiki article you linked to and quoted:-

 

"they viewed Amazon's price discounting as a substantial challenge to their traditional business model."

 

At this point in time, Apple did not have a "traditional eBook pricing model", in fact they had no model as they were yet to enter the eBook market and they had no involvement in the setting of prices, apart from a clause ensuring that the prices that publishers set remained competitive with other eBook sellers.

 

Hence the absence of Apple as regards to "price fixing".

 

Watch as the DoJ throws a whole heap more of taxpayer's money into a big hole of nothing.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Accused is not equal to guilty.

A major flaw in your post, which renders it useless.

If this gets to court Apple will be exonerated because, quite simply they were not involved in price fixing in any form.

How will it get to court if Apple settled?
"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
Reply
"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
Reply
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Accused is not equal to guilty.

A major flaw in your post, which renders it useless.

If this gets to court Apple will be exonerated because, quite simply they were not involved in price fixing in any form.
That's why the article is speaking of settlement on Apple behalf: we are well past recognition and Apple is the one wanting to avoid being spanked in courts... I will let the usual people in their scary parallel world...
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


How will it get to court if Apple settled?

 

Did you read the post my post was in response to?

 

It involved a Wikipedia article regarding the DoJ case in the US, my response was in regard to Sensi's comments on that situation.

 

Context.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post

That's why the article is speaking of settlement on Apple behalf: we are well past recognition and Apple is the one wanting to avoid being spanked in courts... I will let the usual people in their scary parallel world...

 

So why haven't Apple settled in the US?

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Did you read the post my post was in response to?

It involved a Wikipedia article regarding the DoJ case in the US, my response was in regard to Sensi's comments on that situation.

Context.

Ahh gotcha. I jumped the gun. Apologies.
"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
Reply
"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
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › European Union expected to accept Apple's e-book settlement