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DOJ settlement would require Apple to allow links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble e-book stores

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 
Amazon and Barnes & Noble are not currently allowed to link from their native iOS apps to outside e-book stores. But the U.S. Department of Justice has proposed a settlement that would require Apple to allow such links for a two-year period.

iBooks


The terms of the proposed settlement in the Apple e-book price fixing case were published on Friday by the Justice Department. Though Amazon and Barnes & Noble were singled out, the policy could apply to other e-book sellers as well.

The DOJ said the change would allow consumers on the iPad and iPhone to "easily compare Apple's prices with those of its competitors." Currently, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all in-app purchases made through App Store software, and does not allow developers to circumvent this rule by linking to a website for purchases.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others were required to update their apps two years ago, when Apple revised its policy to ban links to out-of-app purchases. Users can still access the content they have bought outside of an application, but buying new content requires manually opening a browser and navigating to the necessary website."Under the department?s proposed order, Apple's illegal conduct will cease and Apple and its senior executives will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition in the future." - Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division

According to the DOJ, the changes would "reset competition to the conditions that existed before the conspiracy." A U.S. District Court judge found Apple guilty of e-book price fixing last month, but the iPad maker has vowed to appeal the decision.

The proposed DOJ settlement would also require Apple to terminate its existing e-book agreements with the five major publishers it was found to have conspired with to fix prices. Those publishers are Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster.

In addition, Apple would be prevented from entering new e-book distribution contracts with those publishers for five years, constraining the company from competing on price.

The DOJ settlement would also go beyond e-books, prohibiting Apple from entering agreements with suppliers of "music, movies, television shows or other content that are likely to increase the prices at which Apple's competitor retailers may sell that content."

"The court found that Apple's illegal conduct deprived consumers of the benefits of e-book price competition and forced them to pay substantially higher prices," said Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. "Under the department?s proposed order, Apple's illegal conduct will cease and Apple and its senior executives will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition in the future."

The proposal, made public Friday, is pending court approval.
post #2 of 88
Apple should take that deal... but amazon must be forced to allow ibooks on there ecosystem...
Edited by herbapou - 8/2/13 at 8:41am
post #3 of 88
If you want to encourage illegal downloads again, this is the way!
post #4 of 88
That is stupid! That's like requiring Target to put Walmart ads next to their registers and provide transportation to go there.
post #5 of 88

DOJ is forcing Apple to stay as a hardware business, which is wrong.  A company should have the right to decide which business model it chooses.

post #6 of 88
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #7 of 88

Wow. Down is up. Night is day. Out is in. ITC, Senate, DoJ, judges...... all bashing away on our tax dollars!

 

Told ya, this was a waste of time -- and incredibly poor PR -- for Apple, right from the get-go. They should have sucked it up, pre-empted it, and settled once the publishers folded. Certainly not the most honorable thing to do, but the most practical.

 

Now the only strategy left is to ratchet it up with an appeal, dragging it all out even more.

post #8 of 88
According to the DOJ, the changes would "reset competition to the conditions that existed before the conspiracy."

You mean the DOJ would shut down b&n, Apple and other ebook sellers so Amazon can have >90% market share again?
post #9 of 88
Simply put, No, Hell No!
post #10 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

Apple should take that deal

You should shush.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #11 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

Apple should take that deal
Just like Apple should let carriers put bloatware on the iPhone?
post #12 of 88
No way Apple will take this deal,and DOJ knows that.
post #13 of 88
Just in case the DOJ did not read and understand it the first time (above)...

No. Hell no!
post #14 of 88
Just kick that Amazon app from App Store.
Fun and relaxing way to prepare Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) test with Juku Apps
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Fun and relaxing way to prepare Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) test with Juku Apps
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post #15 of 88
Screw the DOJ. If they keep this up, ebooks will be sold through Ireland. 1wink.gif
post #16 of 88

I don't understand... how is this NOT enforcing a deliberate conflict of interest?

Someone help me out, here.

Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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post #17 of 88

BEST SOLUTION IS, APPLE SHOULD REJECT THE AMAZON APP :) :)

post #18 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


You should shush.

 

I feel like provocative today!

 

While at it, I think Apple should open itune stores on android, and windows mobile and sell content in those market... and an app store too! Why not open an itune store and an "app store" on amazon tablets. If they refuse, you take down there app on iOS ! Same goes for google. Openning stores in others ecosystems can be a double edge sword. Facetime and imessage should be ported to other platforms too.

 

Apple wont do it because it fears it will allow people trap in its ecosystem to flee elsewhere. Bunch of cowards!

post #19 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

 

While at it, I think Apple should open itune stores on android, and windows mobile and sell content in those market... and an app store too! Why not open an itune store and an "app store" on amazon tablets. If they refuse, you take down there app on iOS ! Same goes for google. Openning stores in others ecosystems can be a double edge sword. Facetime and imessage should be ported to other platforms too.

This is actually not a bad idea.

 

I've always thought that Apple should also make iWork and iLife available on all platforms. They would make a killing. (I am also confident that, once people have experienced Apple's software -- except for Mail and iCloud both of which should be either revamped or shut down -- they'll slowly start to migrate to Apple hardware: i.e., they'd be excellent gateway products).

post #20 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

If they refuse, you take down there app on iOS !

They're not children playing in a sandbox. 1tongue.gif

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #21 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

I feel like provocative today!

While at it, I think Apple should open itune stores on android, and windows mobile and sell content in those market... and an app store too! Why not open an itune store and an "app store" on amazon tablets. If they refuse, you take down there app on iOS ! Same goes for google. Openning stores in others ecosystems can be a double edge sword. Facetime and imessage should be ported to other platforms too.

Apple wont do it because it fears it will allow people trap in its ecosystem to flee elsewhere. Bunch of cowards!

Apple sells hardware. Some benefits of iOS is the integration of iTunes and the App Store.

It's smart business not cowardness.
post #22 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This is actually not a bad idea.

 

I've always thought that Apple should also make iWork and iLife available on all platforms. They would make a killing. (I am also confident that, once people have experienced Apple's software -- except for Mail and iCloud both of which should be either revamped or shut down -- they'll slowly start to migrate to Apple hardware: i.e., they'd be excellent gateway products).

 

Seriously, if I was on Android and there was an Apple app store on it with the same Apple quality control it has on the iOS side, I would buy all my apps in there. Especially if buying an App there gives you the iOS version for free.

post #23 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

Seriously, if I was on Android and there was an Apple app store on it with the same Apple quality control it has on the iOS side, I would buy all my apps in there. Especially if buying an App there gives you the iOS version for free.

If you're on Android, you're not buying apps and thus Apple makes no money.
post #24 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Apple sells hardware. Some benefits of iOS is the integration of iTunes and the App Store.

It's smart business not cowardness.

 

If you are forced to allow others to sell in youre ecosystem you should do the same in theres.  Not to mention that since others are counting on sales to make money since they dump there hardware at cost, you are disrupting there business model at the same time.

 

the only drawback I see is you allow people to flee youre own ecosystem. There could also be a fee war. Apple has billions, it could take a 5% cut selling apps, books. movies, tv shows on all ecosystems and kill them all because Android and Amazon are relying on those sales to make money. not Apple.


Edited by herbapou - 8/2/13 at 8:54am
post #25 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post

I don't understand... how is this NOT enforcing a deliberate conflict of interest?

Someone help me out, here.

 

The way the DOJ is doing it here is stupid and would cripple Apple's eBook business as well as possibly it's App business because Amazon and others would essentially have stores on every iOS device, but not have to pay any cut to Apple.  Eventually, Amazon will probably even have an App store on iOS, as would probably Google and Samsung if it was legal.  It opens up the gates to a situation where Apple no longer has control over the monetization of it's own platform.  Apple is of the opinion that the others should build their own platforms (hardware) with their own stores, which most of them have attempted with poor/mixed results. 

 

However, despite what the Apple supporters are all saying here, in fact the DOJ's way is probably the way it should go in the end.  

 

Right now is far too soon for this to happen and would be really bad news for Apple but assuming those other platforms fail (and it seems like they are at the moment), it puts Apple in an unfair monopoly position.  This is what the tiny minds at the DOJ are thinking about.  If you look at Apple's iOS platform as the industry standard, then it's a similar situation to MS Windows dominance in the 1990's (which is probably all they are thinking about).  If the other platforms never take off, then there is no competition, and Apple takes a 30% cut of all the media business.  

 

I think this is actually an extremely valid concern, but that the whole issue is being raised far too soon.  

 

Most of the lawyers involved are rich, they probably have no experience with Android, and therefore most of them probably already see Apple as having "won" this platform war even though it's really too soon to tell.  Apple will appeal, and since the downside of the decision is also hopelessly biased, perhaps they will win, but the essential problem is that if Apple wins, we end up with an unbalanced, unfair system, and if Apple loses, we also end up with an unfair, unbalanced system.  The only real solution is for Apple to find some way (some easier way) for people to "sideload" content in some kind of way that doesn't favour anyone but the consumer.  

 

Basically, if iOS is a monopoly (or seen that way, or effectively so), and Apple controls all the commerce on it, it's clearly unfair. On the other hand it's also patently unfair for Apple not to have control over the platform they built with their own sweat and tears. 


Edited by Gazoobee - 8/2/13 at 8:44am
post #26 of 88
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post #27 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

If you are forced to allow others to sell in youre ecosystem you should do the same in theres.  Not to mention that since others are counting on sales to make money since they dump there hardware at cost, you are disrupting there business model at the same time.

the only drawback I see is you allow people to flee youre own ecosystem.

I won't comment on the wrong "your" or "their" but Apple doesn't do things for free. Apple sells hardware. To sell hardware, it creates wonderful software. If the software is sold for other hardware vendors, the competitive advantage is gone. Remember the App Store is made to break even or small profit.

Another drawback is developing for other OSes without any added benefit. It costs money and time to develop and test for android.
post #28 of 88

This case isn't over yet. Apple will not give up until they get a Supreme Court ruling. So whatever the DOJ and Amazon want doesn't matter right now.

Because there are going to be a few more years before what happens next will happen if it happens at all. The judge was paid off when they had there first court case with the DOJ. Hopefully the appeals judge will actually be a judge and not a puppet for the DOJ like the first one. She made up her mind before the case even started. Then when the case did go through and the DOJ actually proved NOTHING, she still ruled against Apple. I'm hoping the appeals court will actually listen to what Apple testified in the first trial and see that they did there business exactly like Amazon. Which means Amazon should be put on trial too.

post #29 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

Just in case the DOJ did not read and understand it the first time (above)...

No. Hell no!

The problem is that Kindle (app) readers buying iPads means big $$ for Apple

Kindle (hardware) users reading iBooks is insignificant.

 

Frankly I don't see the big deal of allowing a direct link to Amazon, other than the fact that it opens up a big 'Well Amazon can, why can't WE' hole in the 30% model.

As for books, I always try to get an iBook version first because

1) iBooks reader is vastly superior to Kindle

2) I can copy an iBook to my family's iDevice fairly easily, while Amazon offers a hokey limited sharing capability (if at all... I never use it.)

 

Kindle does have their gimmicky 'pick up in Kindle where you left off in the Audiobook version', but seriously, who buys both versions?

 

Moot anyway because this case stays in appeals land for the next few years, but which time the whole landscape will have moved on.

post #30 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

BEST SOLUTION IS, APPLE SHOULD REJECT THE AMAZON APP :) :)

That would be PR suicide for Apple. 

post #31 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

Apple should take that deal... but amazon must be forced to allow ibooks on there ecosystem...

I don't think Apple wants the iBook app on Kindle or Android though. The whole iTunes and other exclusive stores is a little something special only for iDevices.

post #32 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post

That is stupid! That's like requiring Target to put Walmart ads next to their registers and provide transportation to go there.

 

Which is exactly what happened to AT&T when the DOJ broke them up. They were forced to lease their switch ports, their copper cable pairs, all their infrastructure to competitors at a wholesale price determined by the government. A "competitor" could open up shop on paper only and then resell AT&T services cheaper than AT&T was selling them. And they called it competition. Say you and I want to open a hamburger stand but we don't have the cash to do it. We simply go to the government and ask them to force McDonalds to lease us a spot in their restaurants, use their supplies and cookers, all at a steep discount. Now we can start selling hamburgers, inside a McDonalds, at a cheaper price than McDonalds.

 

This is what this proposed settlement is suggesting. Force Apple to let competitors advertise, for free, on iTunes, all on Apple's dime.

post #33 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

 

 ........ If you are forced to allow others to sell in youre ecosystem you should do the same in theres. ......

Please take the time to learn the difference between... there and their ... it will make you appear to be more intelligent and will make your posts seem more relevent. Just sayin' ...

See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
Reply
post #34 of 88

Apple should stop censoring links period. They make enough money on HW margins and the 30% cut they're trying to take from others is pure greed.

post #35 of 88

The misunderstood reality of how Apple helped the consumer in ebooks

Amazon went the opposite direction of most with their original razor-razorblade business model for the Kindle. They charged outrageous prices for a simple black and white ereader and sold the books for a loss. For a couple of years, Amazon extracted considerable profits with this model and built a monopoly position. Apple comes in with a multifunction device (iPad) that can also be an e-reader, and the publishers see this as a chance to break Amazon's monopoly. They jump at the opportunity. From a certain perspective, this looks like a conspiracy to raise ebook prices. It was really just businesses acting in their own and their customer's best interest. From an objective point of view, the consumer is much better off after iPad than before. Amazon's $359 black and White ereader is now $79 but book prices have increased a little for some titles. Nonetheless, the consumer now pays much for the ereader and a collection of books than they did before. 
 
Not sure why Apple's attorneys did not take this approach, but it is pretty obvious that the DOJ folks lack the intellectual capacity to understand how markets actually work. Undoubtedly many of the DOJ attorneys who worked on this case abscribe to the idea that Lee Harvey Oswald was a pawn in a grand conspiracy.  
post #36 of 88

Oh, hell to the no!

 

The DoJ has got to be kidding with this. We are living in insane times.

post #37 of 88
Amazon went the opposite direction of most with their original razor-razorblade business model for the Kindle. They charged outrageous prices for a simple black and white ereader and sold the books for a loss. For a couple of years, Amazon extracted considerable profits with this model and built a monopoly position. Apple comes in with a multifunction device (iPad) that can also be an e-reader, and the publishers see this as a chance to break Amazon's monopoly. They jump at the opportunity. From a certain perspective, this looks like a conspiracy to raise ebook prices. It was really just businesses acting in their own and their customer's best interest. From an objective point of view, the consumer is much better off after iPad than before. Amazon's $359 black and White ereader is now $79 but book prices have increased a little for some titles. Nonetheless, the consumer now pays much for the ereader and a collection of books than they did before. 
 
Not sure why Apple's attorneys did not take this approach, but it is pretty obvious that the DOJ folks lack the intellectual capacity to understand how markets actually work. Undoubtedly many of the DOJ attorneys who worked on this case abscribe to the idea that Lee Harvey Oswald was a pawn in a grand conspiracy.  
post #38 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

Please take the time to learn the difference between... there and their ... it will make you appear to be more intelligent and will make your posts seem more relevent. Just sayin' ...

 

Considering that some of the people who post here may not have English as their native language, it's always nice to just take a moment and wonder how well you might do making a post in their own language.

post #39 of 88

Apple should appeal on technicality:  DOJ's premise was incorrect: Apple was offering a different product at higher price:  Color LCD screen vs black&whte e-ink.  Drop iPad's price and flood the market.

post #40 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post

I don't understand... how is this NOT enforcing a deliberate conflict of interest?

Someone help me out, here.

Apple wanted ebook prices to rise, and indirectly prevent other ebook sellers from lowering prices, Apple's rule is that Apple can match the lowest price anyone else sells at, which sounds fair but then the publishers get less and less when sellers start a price war. Without Apple though, Amazon is king, they can sell at a loss, crushing everyone else who cannot match their prices.

 

As a consumer, I do like cheap, and ebooks are kind of environmentally friendly, so cheaper ebooks is definitely good. Why can't Apple take a smaller cut of ebooks or be more flexible? Unlike apps, publishers already vet the contents of books, and I'd say majority of ebooks are not bandwidth expensive to host, for the ones that are, slightly higher cut? (is that too idealistic?) Apple does host the files "indefinitely" for on demand downloads which is super convenient for consumers, but doesn't Amazon do the same? 


Edited by murman - 8/2/13 at 9:46am
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