Judge says evidence will likely show Apple culpable in e-book price fixing case

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  • Reply 21 of 136
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,715member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    So you're saying that if Amazon varies the price of an item that it's price fixing? Where is the fixed price in any of this? No, it doesn't mean that the same book on the iBookstore would have to be sold at the same price.


    Correct. They could have sold it for a higher price.


     


    The minimum guaranteed gross profit for Apple on each title in that book group was $3.89 per sale. It would never be lower if the agreement had held because no other seller would be permitted to sell for less that $12.99.

  • Reply 22 of 136
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Had the agreement stood Amazon could not have "run a sale" on any of that group of books. The minimum price was fixed per contract. By pure happenstance each one of those publishers arrived at the same minimum price in those contracts tho they hadn't talked to one another. Believe it or not.

    Lots of independent ideas are the same. This isn't because they colluded but simply because of other factors that multiple parties experienced. Let's remember that regardless of what Amazon was selling the publisher's products there were set prices on ebooks from each publisher. Then you have the publishers already selling physical books against each other. They are in the same business and their research into the best pricing models probably line up pretty damn close for different types of books without ever having to speak to each other. If we use similar prices as proof of anything then we need take a hard look at Dollar Tree and Dollar General. :D
  • Reply 23 of 136
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Christ!

    I hope the outcome of this investigation doesn't lower the cost of eBooks purchased through Apple by me.

    That would really piss me off...

    (>_<)
  • Reply 24 of 136
    mrrodriguezmrrodriguez Posts: 215member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Correct. They could have sold it for a higher price.





    That's correct, but illogical, and therefore insignificant. By Apple stipulating that the publishers weren't allowed to sell a book at a lower price in a competing service, it became price fixing. It's the same as what Microsoft has been rumored to do with the current Xbox 360. They are rumored to have developers sign agreements that if they make games for the Xbox 360, that the same game on a competing consoles cannot look or perform better than the Xbox version.

     


    Even Jobs himself said that pricing books higher than $12.99 wouldn't work, therefore if a publisher sets a price higher in Amazon over iBook store, it wouldn't sell and they would waste their time by setting it at a higher price.

  • Reply 25 of 136
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,715member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Lots of independent ideas are the same. This isn't because they colluded but simply because of other factors that multiple parties experienced. Let's remember that regardless of what Amazon was selling the publisher's products there were set prices on ebooks from each publisher. Then you have the publishers already selling physical books against each other. They are in the same business and their research into the best pricing models probably line up pretty damn close for different types of books without ever having to speak to each other. If we use similar prices as proof of anything then we need take a seriously look at Dollar Tree and Dollar General. image


    Like I said it was purely by chance that each of the largest publishers arrived at the same minimum price to the penny, and applied to the same group of books, and required all sellers to agree to the same non-negotiable terms. Not at all hard to believe that they all arrived at the exact same place independently. The philosophy of Occams's razor tells you that.

  • Reply 26 of 136
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    ""I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that,"

    "circumstanstial"

    So the judge has an opinion based on some of the evidence which is circumstantial? Why does the DOJ insist on releasing snippets of e-mails that look bad on their own, but in context of the entire e-mail aren't that bad at all? And why is the DOJ allowing a judge to "render a verdict" before the trial? I'm beginning to wonder why this information is even being released. Is it to pressure Apple? To get them to settle because they have a weak case?

    I have to ask what exactly is going to qualify this as a 'fair trial' when all of the things you mention have occurred? It reads like something out a dystopian future world novel!
  • Reply 27 of 136
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Even Jobs himself said that pricing books higher than $12.99 wouldn't work, therefore if a publisher sets a price higher in Amazon over iBook store, it wouldn't sell and they would waste their time by setting it at a higher price.

    That's complete BS! In the documents we have Job does not say that selling prices higher than $12.99 wouldn't work. He mentions both $12.99 -AND- $14.99 as upper limits, but wait, there is more... his exact wording is 'we simply don’t think the ebook market can be successful with pricing higher than $12.99 or $14.99." You see that? We, as in Apple, don't think. Opinion! OPINION! O-P-I-N-I-O-N!

    Jobs then follows that up immediately with "Heck, Amazon is selling these books at $9.99, and who knows, maybe they are right..." You see that? They, as in Amazon, might be right. He then continues on that even Apple might fail and then states another opinion that even higher prices would lead to everyone failing.
  • Reply 28 of 136
    mrrodriguezmrrodriguez Posts: 215member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    That's complete BS! In the documents we have Job does not say that selling prices higher than $12.99 wouldn't work. He mentions both $12.99 -AND- $14.99 as upper limits, but wait, there is more... his exact wording is 'we simply don’t think the ebook market can be successful with pricing higher than $12.99 or $14.99." You see that? We, as in Apple, don't think. Opinion! OPINION! O-P-I-N-I-O-N!



    Jobs then follows that up immediately with "Heck, Amazon is selling these books at $9.99, and who knows, maybe they are right..." You see that? They, as in Amazon, might be right. He then continues on that even Apple might fail and then states another opinion that even higher prices would lead to everyone failing.


    It's not COMPLETE BS, when what I said was completely right. I only omitted the $14.99.

  • Reply 29 of 136
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    hill60 wrote: »
    Sounds like grounds to have the case thrown out and moved to another court.

    Since when do judges make guilty pronouncements before being presented with all the evidence?

    Yep. The judge says that she saw only part of the evidence - yet publicly stated that she thinks Apple is guilty. Clear grounds for dismissal.
    gatorguy wrote: »
    The seven major publishers (somehow) all agreed at once that the minimum price for a "Bestseller" e-book could not be less than $12.99. No book seller, Amazon included, could sell from that specific category at a lower price. The minimum price was fixed.

    Nonsense. Apple never said any such thing. In fact, Apple specifically said that some books would sell for less:
    http://gizmodo.com/5457759/the-price-of-ebooks-for-the-apple-tablet-1299-or-1499
    "Book publishers' last-minute negotiations with Apple revealed by the WSJ: Apple is pushing for bestsellers to cost $12.99 or $14.99—and some books $9.99"

    Pushing for $12.99-14.99 is NOT the same as setting a minimum price.
    richl wrote: »
    The deal specified that the books couldn't be sold cheaper anywhere else. If my understanding is correct, that's the crucial part.

    Crucial, but not illegal. Most Favored Nation clauses in contracts have been upheld consistently by the courts.
  • Reply 30 of 136
    mrrodriguezmrrodriguez Posts: 215member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Like I said it was purely by chance that each of the largest publishers arrived at the same minimum price to the penny, and applied to the same group of books, and required all sellers to agree to the same non-negotiable terms. Not at all hard to believe that they all arrived at the exact same place independently. The philosophy of Occams's razor tells you that.





    So why did they all plead guilty to price fixing if they were all innocent?

  • Reply 31 of 136
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Like I said it was purely by chance that each of the largest publishers arrived at the same minimum price to the penny, and applied to the same group of books, and required all sellers to agree to the same non-negotiable terms. Not at all hard to believe that they all arrived at the exact same place independently. The philosophy of Occams's razor tells you that.

    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.
  • Reply 32 of 136
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    It's not COMPLETE BS, when what I said was completely right. I only omitted the $14.99.

    No, you didn't. Besides being incorrect on the price values Jobs thought would be too high for ebook you included no consideration for the opinions stated but instead stated it as if he said that they would outright fail over $12.99, no the we think they would fail priced over 14.99 or any of the other uncertainties he stated, including that Amazon might be right.
  • Reply 33 of 136
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    I agree with Slurpy. Based on the known emails there is nothing from Apple or Jobs that shows any colluding. Jobs covered a huge range of scenarios in his email about what he thinks the future will hold for ebooks if Amazon were to be allowed to continue dumping and how he thinks this will be bad for the market in the long run. There is zero evidence in those emails of any underhanded dealings. In fact, we can deduce from the emails that Jobs was directing his comment to a single person, not a group of people represented by each publisher, which means they clearly show no conspiracy as it's been painted. In fact, the emails so far show this to be correspondence with the last, single hold out of the major publisher days before the iPad announcement. Everything shows Apple working with each publisher independently. Whether the publishers got together in some back room meeting to put the screws to Amazon is another story but so far nothing shows Apple was involved in any of that. Personally I don't think the publishers did that either. There was simply no reason to. They all independently disliked Amazon weakening their brand and product by selling it at a reduced price. They knew this would hurt the publishers in the long run and probably realized that Amazon's dumping would not be sustainable in the long run.




    We have only a snapshot of what is being presented. Don't you think we should give the judge the benefit of the doubt given her training, knowledge and experience, not to mention her access to the body of evidence unavailable to us (even if it still is incomplete)?


     


    There is simply no basis for us to judge. Fine, we are entitled to our opinions. But to agree with slamming a judge?

  • Reply 34 of 136
    mrrodriguezmrrodriguez Posts: 215member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    Yep. The judge says that she saw only part of the evidence - yet publicly stated that she thinks Apple is guilty. Clear grounds for dismissal.


     


    Dismissal on what grounds? And if she's seen evidence most of us haven't, and made an estimated guess as to the outcome, I don't see how most of AI is saying there is no case. Apple is not a godlike company that does no wrong. They only released a few emails, yet they have a lot more evidence to support a price fixing scheme. They might have emails of Apple consulting with the other publishers and pushing their $12.99 price, and telling publishers about the evil Amazon model.

  • Reply 35 of 136
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member

    We have only a snapshot of what is being presented. Don't you think we should give the judge the benefit of the doubt given her training, knowledge and experience, not to mention her access to the body of evidence unavailable to us (even if it still is incomplete)?

    There is simply no basis for us to judge. Fine, we are entitled to our opinions. But to agree with slamming a judge?

    1) From what I read the judge only say a part of an email before making this statement.

    2) My statement "Based on the known emails..." indemnifies my comment quite well.

    3) I don't care about anyone's title. I hold no one is such esteem that they are beyond reproach or incapable of being bias or wrong. I will question everything and everyone were I see fit and expect all other reasonable people to do the same.
  • Reply 36 of 136
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Dismissal on what grounds? And if she's seen evidence most of us haven't, and made an estimated guess as to the outcome, I don't see how most of AI is saying there is no case. Apple is not a godlike company that does no wrong. They only released a few emails, yet they have a lot more evidence to support a price fixing scheme. They might have emails of Apple consulting with the other publishers and pushing their $12.99 price, and telling publishers about the evil Amazon m

    And if and when they do we'll read and judge them accordingly, but you're being a hypocrite here. You start off by saying that she's entitled to her educated guess on the evidence she's seen but then say we aren't allowed to speak up on the evidence we've seen.
  • Reply 37 of 136
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,715member


     



    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    The seven major publishers (somehow) all agreed at once that the minimum price for a "Bestseller" e-book could not be less than $12.99. No book seller, Amazon included, could sell from that specific category at a lower price. The minimum price was fixed.


     


     


    Quote:


    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Nonsense. Apple never said any such thing.


    I'm more and more convinced you have some issue with reading and comprehension. Perhaps it's something that can be corrected with training and the right tutor. You should look into it.


     


    A poster says one thing (publishers set a minimum price) but you go on to argue they said something else (Apple set a minimum price) and claim it's nonsense because of the thing you thought they said. Either that or you know really better and just purposefully making stuff up about what other members say, which is something that would require more skilled care to correct.

  • Reply 38 of 136
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    But isn't that ultimately price fixing? What if Amazon tries to run a sale on a specific book? That would mean that the specific book would have to be sold at the same price in the iBook store. So that's essentially setting the lowest price for a book across all retailers.

    Keep in mind the clause only applied to new releases, and publishers could get around the clause by not offering a particular title to Apple. Most importantly the Murdoch emails show Apple did not collude. It worked out the deals indepentently.
  • Reply 39 of 136
    mrrodriguezmrrodriguez Posts: 215member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    No, you didn't. Besides being incorrect on the price values Jobs thought would be too high for ebook you included no consideration for the opinions stated but instead stated it as if he said that they would outright fail over $12.99, no the we think they would fail priced over 14.99 or any of the other uncertainties he stated, including that Amazon might be right.


     


    Because those "opinions" are irrelevant given the context. He was sympathizing to the other party's fears of entering into a risky deal that could fail by acknowledging that it could fail, however he needed to do something soon or else Amazon could take his entire e-book profits in the future. Salesman tactics.


     


    So no, it wasn't his "opinion". He masked it as an opinion, but really he believed it wouldn't work. Why would the other publishing agencies sign the deal at the same exact $12.99?

  • Reply 40 of 136
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    And if and when they do we'll read and judge them accordingly, but you're being a hypocrite here. You start off by saying that she's entitled to her educated guess on the evidence she's seen but then say we aren't allowed to speak up on the evidence we've seen.

    Good point. I, however, hope Apple opted for a jury trial because the judge made comments when the case first started she thought Apple likely guilty.
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