Originally Posted by jragosta
I guess you never buy gasoline.
Gas prices in most cities are within a few cents of each other - no matter where you shop. And when there's an increase, all the stations increase prices at the same time. It's not uncommon for prices to jump by $0.10 to $0.15 per gallon at every single retailer in my city overnight.
There's absolutely nothing illegal about watching to see what competitors do and then matching it.
You're right, that would be perfectly legal.
However, if all the gas station owners got together for dinner the night before and made an agreement to all raise their prices by $0.15 at 8:00am the next day that would be illegal.
The real reasons gas prices are usually pretty much the same at all the gas stations in a town is because most of them are buying their gas from the same supplier, who charges them all the same price, so they tend to charge you the same price. If all the gas stations in town are buying their gas from the same supplier for $3.50 a gallon, chances are they are all going to charge you around $3.60 a gallon. Yes that is about all the profit gas stations make off gas, around $0.10 a gallon, that's why most of them sell cigarettes, snacks, food etc, that is where they make their real profits.
Price matching, is not collusion. Collusion is when the people setting the prices have a conversation and agree on a set price together. Or they use someone as a go between to have the same conversation and knowingly set the same prices.
MSRP pricing is not collusion. That is the manufacturer's recommended price, but they don't care what you actually sell it for. You are free to sell it for more or less if you want.
MAP pricing is the lowest price a manufacturer allows you to advertise (or sometimes sell) a product for. This still isn't collusion though as the retailers are free to sell it at a lower price without advertising it, or to include other incentives like free gift cards, etc. along with it to effectively make it cheaper tham MAP. MAP is closer to collusion, but it still isn't because it is the product manufacturer/supplier setting the price. The seller is technically still free to sell the product however they want, but if they ignore MAP they manufacturer/supplier can decide to no longer do business with them.
If the one of the publishing companies decided on their own to set a MAP on their e-books, and to only allow their sellers to sell at or above that MAP that would have been fine. If publisher 2 saw what publisher 1 did and decided to do the same thing that would have been fine too. But as soon as there was a middle man (Apple) going around telling all of them what the others were doing, and trying to get them all to do the same thing, that became collusion. As others have said, the publishers realize this and have already agreed that what they did was wrong and have moved on. Apple just seems to be sticking their head in the sand and pretending they didn't have anything to do with it, which appears to be false.
As far as the article goes, the headline did make it look like the judge was biased. It sounded like she was leaning toward Apple being guilty before seeing any true evidence, just from her preconcieved information. However, upon reading further you find that she has actually looked over actual evidence that is going to be presented in the case, and is using that to form an early opinion. She even goes on to stress that it is just an earlyopinion though, and not her final judgement. Depending on what other evidence she hasnt' seen yet, and everything that goes on in the actual proceedings could change her decision by the end, but right now she is making a prediction on what she has seen so far. And she only made this comment because she was asked to. It's not like she was walking around telling everyone she was out to screw Apple over. To me this seems perfectly reasonable.
Edited by Beerstalker - 5/24/13 at 6:31am