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DOJ says Apple responsible for setting up, executing e-book price fixing - Page 2

post #41 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

The most popular does not a monopoly make. Making sure that the price is the same everywhere is not competition.

Undercutting everyone by selling below cost is also not competition.
post #42 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

It's important that all parties understand each other and what's being discussed, then and only then can a debate take place.

What is being discussed is Apple saying "we're not going to set any prices. That's entirely up to you." whereas Amazon' model was "We set the prices for you." The only one that looks like it's improperly affecting the market is Amazon and it looks like Bezo's lobbyists were able to fast track baseless accusations when Amazon's predatory pricing was no longer working.

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post #43 of 85
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post
So that we may all learn from this, what exactly did he do that you feel he should stop?

 

You, too.

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post #44 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


I'll do whatever pleases me. If the agency model was the problem then the DoJ would've taken it up with Apple 10 years ago.

 

Maybe they weren't being advised by some whining, shadowy third party throwing around behind the scenes, lobbying kick backs at that time.

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post #45 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

Apple set a condition that publishers had to offer the same deals they gave to others, giving Apple a chance to compete.

 

So, since the introduction of iBooks what has been the effect on the average price of ebooks, ALL ebooks not some cherry picked sample chosen specifically to show price increases?

 

Based on a "sample" of US citizens I have come to the conclusion that they are all psychopathic killers carrying guns.

What does the introduction of iBooks have to do with it? The price controls were only on "Bestsellers", not the entire range of books. How has that segment's average price tracked?

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post #46 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


And 99¢ songs wasn't dumping? Of course not. Silly me the music industry needed saving, and Apple exploited them... I mean rescued them.

 

I used to buy vinyl singles for 99c.

 

It seems that model was around long before iTunes, and you got two songs.

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post #47 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

"We need to agree on prices though. I don't want to compete on prices if I can avoid it. How about we agree no less than $12.99 for our popular stuff and no one else can sell similar stuff for less than that in your shop. We can both make good money"

 

"I'll do better than that. If your competitors want to sell in my store they have to agree not to let any other stores somewhere else sell their stuff for less than that either"

 

"You sure that's legal?"

 

"Hey, my lips are sealed if yours are. I'll talk to those guys and make sure they're on board. All I want is my 30% OK? I'd just as soon not compete on price either."

 

"Sell it for whatever you want, you set the price just make sure we get as good a deal as anyone else".

 

How's that tin foil hat coming along?

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post #48 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

What does the introduction of iBooks have to do with it? The price controls were only on "Bestsellers", not the entire range of books. How has that segment's average price tracked?

 

"There is to be no competition on ebooks, the proletariat will only read the books we select for you, at the price we set for you." - the Soviet Socialist United States of America.

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post #49 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I see the free market working. Amazon had unfavorable options for publishers but without any real competition to Amazon's model Amazon had them by their bindings. When Apple came in with a better offer and fair competition they had an out from Amazon's unsavory plan.
The comment I replied to contrasts that other post.

Free market is when competitors can freely do their own thing their way freely. So why is Apple now seemingly altruistic (I can use that word too) with the publishers when they weren't with the music industry?
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post #50 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

What is being discussed is Apple saying "we're not going to set any prices. That's entirely up to you." whereas Amazon' model was "We set the prices for you." The only one that looks like it's improperly affecting the market is Amazon and it looks like Bezo's lobbyists were able to fast track baseless accusations when Amazon's predatory pricing was no longer working.

Sounds very much like Apple 10 years ago.
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post #51 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Free market is when competitors can freely do their own thing their way freely. So why is Apple now seemingly altruistic (I can use that word too) with the publishers when they weren't with the music industry?

So the publishers weren't free to do what they wanted with Apple? They weren't free to say "We like having no control over our ebook pricing under Amazon"? They weren't free to set their own prices with the iBookstore? The only predatory actions I've seen were from Amazon using their monopoly position to prevent others from entering the market.

And of course Apple is altruistic. Who said they were? Amazon was keeping the publishers captive and Apple saw an opportunity to gain market share by letting them set their own prices. What a fucking concept!

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post #52 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Undercutting everyone by selling below cost is also not competition.

Then do what Apple does best and offer a better customer experience at a premium. Don't I read that time, and time again on here, and how no other company gets that? Why is it any different now?
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post #53 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Sounds very much like Apple 10 years ago.

And if someone came along with a music store that had different prices than Apple (which has happened several times) I wouldn't consider that illegal or collusion. If Apple complained that it's not fair that the music labels get to set their own prices with a different store I wouldn't stand behind that nonsense but it sounds like you would.

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post #54 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So the publishers weren't free to do what they wanted with Apple? They weren't free to say "We like having no control over our ebook pricing under Amazon"? They weren't free to set their own prices with the iBookstore? The only predatory actions I've seen were from Amazon using their monopoly position to prevent others from entering the market.

And of course Apple is altruistic. Who said they were? Amazon was keeping the publishers captive and Apple saw an opportunity to gain market share by letting them set their own prices. What a fucking concept!

It is a great concept, I've never denied that, but you're still dodging the music industry question. Why didn't Apple let them set the price and then let them act accordingly to market forces?
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post #55 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

When combined with the agency model and simultaneously agreed to and announced by Apple and each of the major publishers? 

EDIT: The telling part is the timing. If Apple and the major publishers had not all agreed to the exact same conditions and all at the same time this would not have become an issue IMHO... but they did. A reasonable person would conclude that one party would likely have coordinated the negotiations for all to have come together and agreed at once.

I think a reasonable person could come to the conclusion that one party coordinated the negotiations for all. I think it's equally likely that the publishers got caught talking amongst each other.

The coordination of the announcement is not an indication (to me) that the agreement to the exact same conditions is a clear sign of Apple colluding or price fixing. Is it naive for me to consider that the publishers all saw a better deal, the same deal offered to each by Apple, and took it? Perhaps but until I read evidence of Apple's collusion or disclosure of communications or details of negotiations between publishers I'll withhold judgement.
post #56 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

It is a great concept, I've never denied that, but you're still dodging the music industry question. Why didn't Apple let them set the price and then let them act accordingly to market forces?

1) Apple did let them set prices. Remember when the music labels actually did collude with Amazon to offer prices lower than Apple with no DRM (after saying how no DRM was a stupid suggestion by Jobs) and at a higher bit rate. Apple then bent to them and allowed a three tier pricing model.

2) The key difference isn't that Apple set all the prices the same for songs (which in not how Amazon sets book prices) it's that Apple didn't sell them for a loss to illegally corner a market. In fact, it was quite clearly stated year-after-year that CDs were cheaper than Apple's model as a key reason why iTMS was stupid and would fail. You can't say the same for Amazon who is dumping to illegally corner the market.

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post #57 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

And if someone came along with a music store that had different prices than Apple (which has happened several times) I wouldn't consider that illegal or collusion. If Apple complained that it's not fair that the music labels get to set their own prices with a different store I wouldn't stand behind that nonsense but it sounds like you would.

That happens all the time and of course it's not illegal, and people go bargain hunting because that freedom exists, and thanks for proving my point. Despite being undersold people still chose to buy from Apple.
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post #58 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


It is a great concept, I've never denied that, but you're still dodging the music industry question. Why didn't Apple let them set the price and then let them act accordingly to market forces?

 

What, like 69c songs on Amazon?

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post #59 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Apple did let them set prices. Remember when the music labels actually did collude with Amazon to offer prices lower than Apple with no DRM (after saying how no DRM was a stupid suggestion by Jobs) and at a higher bit rate. Apple then bent to them and allowed a three tier pricing model.

2) The key difference isn't that Apple set all the prices the same for songs (which in not how Amazon sets book prices) it's that Apple didn't sell them for a loss to illegally corner a market. In fact, it was quite clearly stated year-after-year that CDs were cheaper than Apple's model as a key reason why iTMS was stupid and would fail. You can't say the same for Amazon who is dumping to illegally corner the market.

Not at a loss? Then why did it take them 12 years to make a profit? And the music industry should've gotten the same treatment from the DoJ that the publishers got for doing that to Apple.
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post #60 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Not at a loss? Then why did it take them 12 years to make a profit? And the music industry should've gotten the same treatment from the DoJ that the publishers got for doing that to Apple.

1) Apple said from the start that it was in the black from the start, but it's business acumen isn't in question, it's whether Apple created the iTMS to unfairly give it an advantage by purposely selling at a loss. It's very clear they did not.

2) So I say it's wrong for the DoJ to jump on Apple for giving the publishers freedom to set prices and investigate Amazon for possible dumping to unfairly dominate a market and you say that means I should think Apple should be sued for legally cornering a market by being more convenient despite prices that were deemed more costly from the start? WTF?!

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post #61 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

What, like with 69c songs on Amazon?

More like $1.29, not selling, $1.19, still not selling, $1.09, selling but not enough, $0.99 yay selling like crazy. Just like Apple did with the iPhone when it first came out. Like Soli said "what a concept!"
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post #62 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Apple said from the start that it was in the black from the start, but it's business acumen isn't in question, it's whether Apple created the iTMS to unfairly give it an advantage by purposely selling at a loss. It's very clear they did not.

2) So I say it's wrong for the DoJ to jump on Apple for giving the publishers freedom to set prices and investigate Amazon for possible dumping to unfairly dominate a market and you say that means I should think Apple should be sued for legally cornering a market by being more convenient despite prices that were deemed more costly from the start? WTF?!

So why else would they go into a business venture that makes them no money? Ahhh to sell more iPods, which is worse than what Amazon was doing because one doesn't need a Kindle to read their ebooks.
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post #63 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

So why else would they go into a business venture that makes them no money? Ahhh to sell more iPods, which is worse than what Amazon was doing because one doesn't need a Kindle to read their ebooks.

What part of Apple operating in the black don't you understand? Amazon's ebooks were clearly sold well below their cost to corner the market. That doesn't strike you as problematic? What Amazon does for their regular business where they barely make 1% profit or loss money each quarter isn't an issue as they do at least attempt to turn a profit each quarter.

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post #64 of 85

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 7/24/13 at 10:51am
post #65 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

What part of Apple operating in the black don't you understand? Amazon's ebooks were clearly sold well below their cost to corner the market. That doesn't strike you as problematic? What Amazon does for their regular business where they barely make 1% profit or loss money each quarter isn't an issue as they do at least attempt to turn a profit each quarter.

iTunes only recently started operating in the black, it was meant to be a break even venture.
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post #66 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

iTunes only recently started operating in the black, it was meant to be a break even venture.

Show proof that iTunes Store was operating at a loss and was designed to operate at a loss to unfairly corner the digital market.

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post #67 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

What part of Apple operating in the black don't you understand? Amazon's ebooks were clearly sold well below their cost to corner the market. That doesn't strike you as problematic? What Amazon does for their regular business where they barely make 1% profit or loss money each quarter isn't an issue as they do at least attempt to turn a profit each quarter.

I think it was like "being between a rock and a hard spot".

 

Apple wanted a full collection of e-books in their new iBookstore.

For the store to be a success, they would have to sell at the same price as the current market leader Amazon

Apple insisted on making 30% but that was more than even the publishers were currently making.

 

There is only one solution to all three issues. Raise prices and make Amazon raise their prices too.

 

And if that were to happen, consumers would pay more than they were currently paying.

 

Amazon's practice of selling SOME books below cost for SOME period of time is no different than any business offering an incentive to customers to shop at their store. Whether the number of books, or the period of time was too great to be regarded as a legitimate business practice, perhaps should be investigated, but that is a separate issue.

 

The publishers could have told Amazon that they cannot sell below a certain price just like Nikon does with their cameras, but they didn't.

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post #68 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Show proof that iTunes Store was operating at a loss and was designed to operate at a loss to unfairly corner the digital market.

I only said it was always meant to be a break even venture, I never said it was designed to corner a market.
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post #69 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I only said it was always meant to be a break even venture, I never said it was designed to corner a market.

Somehow, Amazon managed to undercut Apple's pricing by 10% when it started selling MP3s (2007). If Apple is dumping, then what of Amazon?
post #70 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


You just don't get it, do you? It's not about Apple's way of selling e-books it's the fact that Apple is late to the ebook market and them trying to make everybody to do things their way.

Sorry, but the book publishers dealt with Amazon not having their collective act together. They didn't have any organized way of putting out a consistent Suggested Retail List price that was consistent so that Apple be competitive with Amazon.    That's what Apple was trying to do, have a consistent pricing model where they could actually compete.

 

I see a lot of weird pricing with Amazon from time to time where their "Retail Price" is inflated to what the mfg suggested retail price is.

 

Amazon is not always consistent with their pricing.

 

Before I buy ANYTHING from Amazon, I check with at least two RELIABLE sources to ensure they have proper pricing and that it's actually a goos deal, because some of the things they have the Retail Price is submitted by the reseller and it's not always accurate.  Most of the time it is, but there is enough inconsistency to make me think something weird goes on.  It's NOT 100% reliable pricing on Amazon.

post #71 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Sorry, but the book publishers dealt with Amazon not having their collective act together. They didn't have any organized way of putting out a consistent Suggested Retail List price that was consistent so that Apple be competitive with Amazon.    That's what Apple was trying to do, have a consistent pricing model where they could actually compete.

I see a lot of weird pricing with Amazon from time to time where their "Retail Price" is inflated to what the mfg suggested retail price is.

Amazon is not always consistent with their pricing.

Before I buy ANYTHING from Amazon, I check with at least two RELIABLE sources to ensure they have proper pricing and that it's actually a goos deal, because some of the things they have the Retail Price is submitted by the reseller and it's not always accurate.  Most of the time it is, but there is enough inconsistency to make me think something weird goes on.  It's NOT 100% reliable pricing on Amazon.

And I say since when did Apple care about the price someone else has? Offer a superior experience at a premium price, isn't that their MO? Why is this different?
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post #72 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Somehow, Amazon managed to undercut Apple's pricing by 10% when it started selling MP3s (2007). If Apple is dumping, then what of Amazon?

Undercutting them in what? Music? I've already stated that if the music industry and Amazon colluded against Apple then they should've been investigated as well, but the problem is nobody complains about lower prices. Btw I'll ask again, didn't consumers still choose Apple?
Edited by dasanman69 - 5/15/13 at 10:32am
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post #73 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

And I say since when did Apple care about the price someone else has? Offer a superior experience at a premium price, isn't that their MO? Why is this different?

Because they are reselling a product that is not exclusive to Apple. On the products that Apple manufactures, they can set the price high because they are providing a better user experience. In the case of e-books the experience is in the reading. Apple only controls the device the book is being read on not the actual content of the book.

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post #74 of 85
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Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Because they are reselling a product that is not exclusive to Apple. On the products that Apple manufactures, they can set the price high because they are providing a better user experience. In the case of e-books the experience is in the reading. Apple only controls the device the book is being read on not the actual content of the book.

Then provide a better reading experience.
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post #75 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


And I say since when did Apple care about the price someone else has? Offer a superior experience at a premium price, isn't that their MO? Why is this different?

You don't get it.   For large resellers of digital content, the supplier (book publisher, etc.) has to set a Retail Price, and then give a REASONABLE wholesale cost and then let each price the content at either retail or offer a discount.  How much they ultimately charge is up to each reseller, but there has to be some consistent way of establishing a Retail List Price.  In the case of songs, Apple felt that charging $.99 cents a song was REASONABLE at the time and they needed to make a certain amount of profit to cover the costs Akamai was charging them, marketing/adverstising costs, maintaining the iTunes website/software, etc.  It was a new business model that no one really had a handle on in the beginning.  Then the prices of the songs slowly increased as they started removing DRM and/or increasing the bit rates which increases the size of each file to give a better quality listening experience.  It was new and the entertainment industry went to Apple asking for their help in trying to figure it out.  

 

No, Apple is not typically going to sell something at cost or at a loss.  Apple pays Akamai a certain amount per download which comes off of the top and Apple retains what is left over from the margin they are given.

 

Apple is not trying to rip people off, all they want is to give a good experience to the customer and make a REASONABLE profit.  If Amazon wants to charge less money to attract buyers, then that's what Amazon does.  Amazon is working on very low profit margins because they spend pretty much ZERO on R&D, they are more of just a fulfillment house rather than a company that actually develops something.  I don't even think they actually design their Kindles, I think they go to another company, give them pricing and spec parameters and then have basically private label someone else's tablets.  Go look at Amazon's Income Statements.  They don't spend a dime on R&D.  It's all SG&A expenses and they work on a fairly low profit margin.  They also lost money last year.  A company can't stay in business continually losing money, can they?

post #76 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Then do what Apple does best and offer a better customer experience at a premium. Don't I read that time, and time again on here, and how no other company gets that? Why is it any different now?

Because they don't own the media.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

So why else would they go into a business venture that makes them no money? Ahhh to sell more iPods, which is worse than what Amazon was doing because one doesn't need a Kindle to read their ebooks.

I can listen to music on my Mac. I don't need an iPod.
post #77 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I only said it was always meant to be a break even venture, I never said it was designed to corner a market.

That's what they said at first, but note that break even does not mean sell at a loss. There was never any suspicion that Apple used any anti-competitive dumping techniques with iTMS. In fact, I think they profited quite well the entire time with their "break even" statement being a worse case scenario that never happened because it was so successful do to the added convenience of the store. If I were going to market a new service that more expensive per CD and that had DRM to customers as well as needing to get content from very fearful content owners who were afraid of the digital era I would also say that we've designed it to (at least) break even. None of that is the selling at a loss model you keep claiming is what Apple did with iTMS.

"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

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"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

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post #78 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Then provide a better reading experience.

I think they do, and buyers pay extra for that in the cost of the device. I don't see why that cost has to be embedded into the media, and not the device.
post #79 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


I think a reasonable person could come to the conclusion that one party coordinated the negotiations for all. I think it's equally likely that the publishers got caught talking amongst each other.

The coordination of the announcement is not an indication (to me) that the agreement to the exact same conditions is a clear sign of Apple colluding or price fixing. Is it naive for me to consider that the publishers all saw a better deal, the same deal offered to each by Apple, and took it? Perhaps but until I read evidence of Apple's collusion or disclosure of communications or details of negotiations between publishers I'll withhold judgement.

Either scenario is possible. Apple calls the different publishing houses and says, "publisher A is going to sell through our store and their price is going to be x amount.  Would you like to sell through our store as well?" Or one publisher calls up another and says, "We're going to sell through the Apple store and we think x amount sounds like a fair price.  What do you think?" Neither scenario would constitute price fixing, it only becomes price fixing when one party asks the other to set a specific price.  Just talking about pricing does not constitute price fixing - no agreement has been made. There also exists a third scenario, that selling online makes pricing to be near instantly adjustable.  The second that I find out what prices my competitors have set, I move my price point so I am in line with the rest.  In business if I am offering a similar  service or product as my competition, I don't want to have the highest  prices and chase customers away, and I don't want the lowest prices and leave money on the table.

We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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post #80 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think they do, and buyers pay extra for that in the cost of the device. I don't see why that cost has to be embedded into the media, and not the device.

When iBookstore first launched there were comparisons to the same content between Amazon's ebooks. iBookstore showed much better structure. I seem to recall some complaints of Amazon's ebooks being poorly typed in or using OCR that created excessive errors and other abnormalities in the books. I haven't heard anything for a long time so perhaps those issues were blown out of proportion or merely resolved.

"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

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