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DOJ accuses Apple and publishers of conspiring again after e-book ruling - Page 2

post #41 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

 

I agree with you, all Apple needs to do it allow content providers to sell at different prices elsewhere.  Apple is not dumping its hardware at cost, it can afford a cut rate war. If Amazon dumps its hardware at cost and on top of that doesnt makes a decent cut rate on content, then how the hell is it going to make money?

 

Well that's the point. Amazon DOESN'T make any money and Wall Street loves them for it.

post #42 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

One of the things that's so ridiculous about this is that about five years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that manufacturers could set minimum selling prices, not just minimum advertised prices as had been the case before the ruling.     If manufacturers can set minimum selling prices, why can't publishers?    

I'm pretty sure they could and still can, the problem the DoJ had wasn't with the agency model, but the way in which it had come about; the "conspiracy" for all major publishers to do the same thing at the same time, and to provide Apple with the most-favoured-nation clause.

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post #43 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Just to be clear, from reading the gigaom article it seems that the DoJ haven't made any accusation of further illegal conspiracy, they've just publicly commented that the filings from the book publishers are indicative of a shared mindset that could lead to further anticompetitive behaviour in the future.  If that's the case, they're saying that regulators should be wary of, and perhaps takes preventative measures to prevent conspiracy and encourage competition.

It might be a little speculative, but I don't see anything particularly wrong with stating that as a position.  It doesn't hurt to be sceptical.

And on the positive side, some might say that encouraging a multi-retailer market where Amazon isn't as dominant and predatory price dumping is eliminated, might be a good way to kick off that position.

Is the DoJ run by idiots? The punishment it proposes will affect those publishers. Of course they will respond in kind. Genius lawyers. I think the publishers should pull its ebooks one by one from Amazon and give the others exclusive rights.
post #44 of 152

I wish the DOJ would investigate the DOJ for their handling of Fast & Furious instead of messing with computer companies and book publishers.

post #45 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by theCore View Post

let's expand on that a little.....Forcing writers to take lower fees, forcing out smaller publishers,   forcing out local booksellers,  forcing a smaller ecosystem in which creativity can be ushered.   ( yes I know, a new paradigm will emerge,  someday)

 

Amazon is being propped up as the darling of price reduction....at such a cost.    

 

Some would argue that what's occurring is blind justice 

While I disagree with what the DOJ is doing, I believe that the impacts you list above are incorrect.     Authors are generally paid royalties based on the list price of a book, not the selling price.    And since no one but the very top tier of authors ever earns out their advance, what they're paid on is almost moot anyway.  The publishers can set any wholesale price for a book they want - it's just that Amazon discounts it frequently below that wholesale price.     So the publishers still get the same money.    There is a lot of illogic in this industry.   In spite of continued publisher consolidation (like Penguin and Random House merging), there are an ever increasing number of books being published, yet the average author advance for first-time authors is around $12,000 and they generally never see another penny.    Back in 1996, there were about 1.4 million books "in-print", but under a million were actually available with publishers or distributors holding inventory.    Some sources claim today that there are over a million new books published each year in the U.S.     But the vast majority sell under 2500 copies. 

 

However, what the publishers are worried about is with Amazon's discounting, the overall perception of what an ebook (and in turn, hardcover and paperback books) is worth will fall.   They're trying to avoid what happened to the record industry, where the perception is that a downloaded single is worth around a dollar.   In 1966, singles (albeit double-sided singles) listed for $1 and usually retailed at around 65 cents.   That 65 cents is $4.68 in 2013 dollars, which demonstrates why the record industry is in such trouble.    And trade publishing in general has never been all that lucrative a business in any case.   

post #46 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post

Isn't the ability to drop prices good for the consumers ? Meaning content prices would drop right ?

That means we'll get more/better content, right?

 

/s

post #47 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Forcing everyone to sell at the same price is just as anticompetitive.

Maybe it is time for the competitive arguments to be focused on the services provided instead of only focusing on dumping the prices.
Don't forget that in the agency model, you still have to negotiate at which price you get the books from the publishers, so there is still margin competition there.
A world where everyone goes bankrupt even the ones with the most market shares isn't healthy neither. Just look at the California electricity crisis in 2001.
post #48 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by theCore View Post

let's expand on that a little.....Forcing writers to take lower fees, forcing out smaller publishers,   forcing out local booksellers,  forcing a smaller ecosystem in which creativity can be ushered.   ( yes I know, a new paradigm will emerge,  someday)

Amazon is being propped up as the darling of price reduction....at such a cost.    

Some would argue that what's occurring is blind justice 

Nobody was taking lower fees except for Amazon. Apple wasn't making them any more money. Last I checked there are dozens of ebook stores which for now can compete for your dollar with a lower price but if they're forced to have the same price how would they be able to compete? Amazon's way was bad but Apple's way isn't much better. A duopoly isn't much better than a monopoly.
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post #49 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Nobody was taking lower fees except for Amazon. Apple wasn't making them any more money. Last I checked there are dozens of ebook stores which for now can compete for your dollar with a lower price but if they're forced to have the same price how would they be able to compete? Amazon's way was bad but Apple's way isn't much better. A duopoly isn't much better than a monopoly.

Amazon had 90+% market share prior to Apple. After Apple, more ebook sellers came to be. No duopoly there.
post #50 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scapal View Post

Maybe it is time for the competitive arguments to be focused on the services provided instead of only focusing on dumping the prices.
Don't forget that in the agency model, you still have to negotiate at which price you get the books from the publishers, so there is still margin competition there.
A world where everyone goes bankrupt even the ones with the most market shares isn't healthy neither. Just look at the California electricity crisis in 2001.

Yes but would you want your competitor to benefit from the results of your negotiations? That's like wooing the prettiest girl in town and because she went out with you she has to go out with everyone else.
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post #51 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Amazon had 90+% market share prior to Apple. After Apple, more ebook sellers came to be. No duopoly there.

Just not yet.
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post #52 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Well that's the point. Amazon DOESN'T make any money and Wall Street loves them for it.

Because in their eyes the potential to make money is more important than actually making it.
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post #53 of 152

While a lot peoples lost their job, DoJ try to beat the company out of their business.  So ridiculous.

post #54 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Yes but would you want your competitor to benefit from the results of your negotiations? That's like wooing the prettiest girl in town and because she went out with you she has to go out with everyone else.

The customer lowest selling price is fixed by the deal Apple had with publishers, it doesn't fix the margin other resellers will get from their publishers.
post #55 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scapal View Post

The funny thing is that they blame Apple because they are preventing Amazon to sell books at, or bellow cost, arguing it raised the prices for the customers.
Selling at or below cost is prohibited in many countries because it is anticompetitive for a large company to kill emerging competition by selling at or below cost.

Amazon is the only place people by books these days. They have put many brick and mortar stores out of business because they can't compete with Amazon. Somehow the DOJ thinks they need protection and Apple is the enemy here?
post #56 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

They made public statements to the DoJ. There was a article about it here just a few days ago.

Baloney. Please show any public statement where the publishers said that they colluded to issue this statement.

Why do you feel so much need to spread lies about Apple and their business?
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post #57 of 152
The Department of Just Us.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Last I checked competition and choice is a good thing for us as consumers.

Last I checked, you were on the wrong side of the argument.

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post #58 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

The Department of Just Us.
Last I checked, you were on the wrong side of the argument.

Another useless, and unhelpful post by moderator in exile Tallest Skil.
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post #59 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Another useless, and unhelpful post by moderator in exile Tallest Skil.

Funny, since you're on Amazon's side but are claiming the outcome of what happens when Amazon's broken.

Please. Don't insult everyone's intelligence.

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post #60 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Funny, since you're on Amazon's side but are claiming the outcome of what happens when Amazon's broken.

Please. Don't insult everyone's intelligence.

I'm not on Amazon's side. I'm on yours and my side as consumers. I see things for what they really are. No reality distortion field clouding my vision and if you look at my posts I've repeatedly agreed that Amazon's way is not good for competition.
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post #61 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scapal View Post

Maybe it is time for the competitive arguments to be focused on the services provided instead of only focusing on dumping the prices.
Don't forget that in the agency model, you still have to negotiate at which price you get the books from the publishers, so there is still margin competition there.
A world where everyone goes bankrupt even the ones with the most market shares isn't healthy neither. Just look at the California electricity crisis in 2001.

Yes but would you want your competitor to benefit from the results of your negotiations? That's like wooing the prettiest girl in town and because she went out with you she has to go out with everyone else.

Please extend your metaphor to explain the proposed punishment of Apple.
post #62 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Well if there is only Amazon left, they will be the only ones charging a price.

Agreed. I think the publishers should've been proactive instead of reactive with Amazon and negotiated better terms. There's no clear cut everyone wins solution here and it's definitely not what the DoJ has suggested.
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post #63 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Please extend your metaphor to explain the proposed punishment of Apple.

You've used up your alloted one metaphor per day. Ask me tomorrow but I wouldn't bother because I probably won't be able to think one up. lol.gif
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post #64 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Agreed. I think the publishers should've been proactive instead of reactive with Amazon and negotiated better terms. There's no clear cut everyone wins solution here and it's definitely not what the DoJ has suggested.

Amazon has the power with its near monopoly. You don't think the publishers tried to get better terms prior to Apple? The DOJ said nope, fall in line with Amazon or we'll just make up a conspiracy.
post #65 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post

Isn't the ability to drop prices good for the consumers ? Meaning content prices would drop right ?

Price drops are not necessarily good. In many areas, people spend far too much for, say, brand name items, that offer nothing but ostentatiousness. But, the idea that low prices are good is a mistake. Low prices are a race to the bottom for anyone who wants to make a real contribution -- you have to be a producer not merely a consumer. Low prices keep competition from entering the market -- low prices prevent productive investments and prevents risk taking at all levels. It prevents innovation. And, it just make a living, low prices demands a massive market for your product, and prevents development of local and necessarily small enterprises. 

post #66 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Amazon has the power with its near monopoly. You don't think the publishers tried to get better terms prior to Apple? The DOJ said nope, fall in line with Amazon or we'll just make up a conspiracy.

Amazon didn't start as powerful, they not only let it get to that level they actually helped. They could've withheld content and if Amazon would've taken all their ebooks then so be it. Sometimes one has to take a loss for a bigger win later on.
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post #67 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

Price drops are not necessarily good. In many areas, people spend far too much for, say, brand name items, that offer nothing but ostentatiousness. But, the idea that low prices are good is a mistake. Low prices are a race to the bottom for anyone who wants to make a real contribution -- you have to be a producer not merely a consumer. Low prices keep competition from entering the market -- low prices prevent productive investments and prevents risk taking at all levels. It prevents innovation. And, it just make a living, low prices demands a massive market for your product, and prevents development of local and necessarily small enterprises. 

Agreed, I just wish someone would tell Walmart and it's customers that.
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post #68 of 152
Wait... Am I living in the United States, or Syria?
post #69 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Amazon didn't start as powerful, they not only let it get to that level they actually helped. They could've withheld content and if Amazon would've taken all their ebooks then so be it. Sometimes one has to take a loss for a bigger win later on.

Is the "bigger win later on" what happens when they are the only game in town and they can set the price of books at whatever price they want? If so, that's the perfect example of predatory behavior leading to a monopoly, but I know you know that.

 

Not to bring in big oil, but how do all the oil companies get away with manipulating the price of gas without any DOJ intrusion? There hasn't been any price competition in gas prices in years. 

post #70 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Amazon didn't start as powerful, they not only let it get to that level they actually helped. They could've withheld content and if Amazon would've taken all their ebooks then so be it. Sometimes one has to take a loss for a bigger win later on.

And the ebook market was non-existent so they partnered up. What happen was the ebook market exploded and surprised the publishers. Of course it was too late to do anything since Amazon is the ebook market. If they threaten to withhold ebooks, Amazon could/would stop selling the hard covers. And since amazon was also a major player in books, the publishers couldn't risk cutting off their feet.
post #71 of 152
I'd bet that if you were to take a poll of Apple employees, that 95 % of them routinely and reliably vote for whatever Democrat candidate is on a given ballot. Al Gore is on the freaking Board of Directors, for cry'n out loud! Yet, this is how the Obama administration rewards them? What am I missing here? Is it because Greenpeace isn't giving Apple their 100% Seal of Approval rating, with Obama using the same "logic" as with the Keystone pipeline - that is, tick off one democrat faction (unions) while favoring another faction (environmentalists). I'm sorry, but this just doesn't make any sense.
post #72 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I'm not on Amazon's side. I'm on yours and my side as consumers. I see things for what they really are. No reality distortion field clouding my vision and if you look at my posts I've repeatedly agreed that Amazon's way is not good for competition.

The only reality distortion field here is the argument that this is about the consumer. This is, and has always been, about Amazon getting upset because its attempt at a monopoly was thwarted. If you are incapable of even considering this as a possibility, then please do not set yourself up as the sole arbitrator of truth.

You claim to oppose an Amazon monopoly, yet even after it has been pointed out that the number of ebook retailers has grown you continue to defend a position that has the expressed purpose of returning the ebook market to pre-Apple conditions by using false dilemmas and buzzwords like "duopoly".
post #73 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

You've used up your alloted one metaphor per day. Ask me tomorrow but I wouldn't bother because I probably won't be able to think one up. lol.gif

Do you really think you're cute?

 

Wow. Stop embarrassing yourself (and this forum).

post #74 of 152

Signed. 'Nuff Said.

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post #75 of 152
We shall see. Maybe the SCOTUS needs to make a ruling here.
post #76 of 152
Wow, it's almost as if the DOJ is going to call "Conspiracy!" every time Apple and the publishers have a feckin' conversation! They've got to talk, they've got to try and reach agreements, they need to do business together. I'm sure they are NOT running around trying to find ways to break the law at every opportunity.

The way the DOJ is applying the term, simply doing ANY cooperative business at all (have a meeting, agree to a coordinated action, execute on it) is a "conspiracy".

So, they are now saying it would be illegal and "conspiring" to get together and agree to push back, in unity, against the DOJ's ham-handed actions?

Huh…
Edited by tribalogical - 8/9/13 at 11:28am
post #77 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Is the "bigger win later on" what happens when they are the only game in town and they can set the price of books at whatever price they want? If so, that's the perfect example of predatory behavior leading to a monopoly, but I know you know that.

Not to bring in big oil, but how do all the oil companies get away with manipulating the price of gas without any DOJ intrusion? There hasn't been any price competition in gas prices in years. 

I was referring to the publishers with the bigger win later on not Amazon. Apologies if my wording didn't indicate that.
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post #78 of 152
It is the Department of Jerks. Forget justice, if this is their idea of what constitutes fair play.

What they don't seem to understand is that credibility as an authoritative body is slipping away with cases like these. Sure, you'll have people that would like to see Apple hung out to dry for anything but it doesn't change the view. You can not depend on getting a square deal in America.
post #79 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Do you really think you're cute?

Wow. Stop embarrassing yourself (and this forum).

I'm a grown man so no I wasn't trying to be 'cute' I was being facetious, and thanks for your concern but it's none of your business if I want to embarrass myself.
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post #80 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

This is a very dangerous situation for Apple.  This could spread into allowing anyone to sell content (music, books, movies, ty shows, ...) on iOS bypassing itunes.

 

The only problem in Apple case is its rule of forbitting content providers to sell at a lesser price elsewhere. This is where Apple got greedy and this is why we have a problem right now. Remove that and I dont see how Apple could impact prices elsewhere. The "solution" of the DOJ doesnt makes any sense imo... Apple makes this rule to hide its cut rate, but this wrong in so many levels. Apple bigger cut rate will make content prices higher in iOS ecosystem. Well Apple, deal with it or lower youre cut.

 

Seriously either those guys are retarted or there is corruption going on.

 

WRONG. The Agency Agreement does not "forbid" content providers from selling for less elsewhere.

 

It does say that if they do sell for less elsewhere, they must also sell for those lower prices on the iBooksstore.

 

 

Finally, what you also don't seem to get is this: Apple doesn't set the prices at all. The publishers/content providers do.

 

That's why this entire case is so back-asswards. All that Apple really did was remove the artificially lower pricing imposed by Amazon's near-monopoly on the entire market (a monopoly in part gained, I might add, by unfairly leveraging its dominant position to kill competition by lowering prices to AT OR BELOW costs).

 

Basing "fair market pricing" on Amazon's artificially low prices is the DOJ's first major error. Their second was to base their premise that Apple unfairly "raised prices" in that it was also based on those artificially low prices AND the notion that Apple somehow controls pricing. They don't. The publishers do.

 

Ye, very weird indeed...

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