Originally Posted by EWTHeckman
Like I said, I am not sure whether Apple actually acted in accord with the intent in that draft email. They must demonstrate that Apple acted in a way which created collusion among the publishers. Based on what has been reported here, I don't think the DOJ has demonstrated that beyond reasonable doubt (so far).
I personally would not call this draft a "smoking gun". A "smoking gun" settles an entire case beyond reasonable doubt. This is crucially important
evidence which shows that Steve Jobs at least considered the idea of collusion, but by itself it does not demonstrate that he actually acted on it.
The "price floor" was the retail price. Because of the Agency Model (Publisher sets the selling price) plus MFN (no reseller gets a better deal), no other reseller (including—but not limited to—Amazon) was allowed to sell a particular book for less than whatever wholesale price the publisher was willing to accept plus Apple's 30%. That means no loss leaders, no sales, no dealer willing to settle for a smaller margin to beat the competition. That means that if you wanted to buy the book "My Life as an Apple Fan" (made up title), and you have several ereader platforms, you could not do price shopping to get the best deal. Period.
Under the agreements there is nothing to prevent publishers withholding a title from Apple's iBook store and selling it for 99c if they wanted to.
This is the reality, since Apple entered the market and opened it up to real competition the average price of eBooks has fallen to record lows.
"Apple colluded to raise prices" is DoJ doublespeak for consumers of eBooks have NEVER had it better.