States want Apple to pay at least $280M in e-books antitrust case, push for $840M

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  • Reply 61 of 132
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    I have also found e-book reading a bit of a chore (and this from a voracious reader). I have heard good things about the Paperwhite Kindle, so I'd at least like to compare.

    Even Gruber admitted that he does his reading on a eInk Kindle because it's much easier on the eyes.
  • Reply 62 of 132
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    pazuzu wrote: »
    I "ignore" the facts simply because more people listen to music than read books. Besides how would you have read an eBook back then- flipping pages on your laptop? MP3 players were long out before the iPod. What devices were our there before the Kindle to portably read an eBook? Amazon gave authors a wider audience with the pricing of books at $9.99.

    Sony's eReader (Sept 2006) was available 14 months before Amazon released the Kindle (Nov 2007).
  • Reply 63 of 132
    smalmsmalm Posts: 654member

    Greed

  • Reply 64 of 132
    sdbryansdbryan Posts: 314member
    Just a few incontestable facts. I have an iPad. Two free apps, iBook and Kindle, are installed (I have several others but leave it there for now). Many ebooks are available for both ebook reading apps from Apple and Amazon. How can there even be a basis for anyone but a moron to claim Apple has an opportunity for fixing prices?

    If an ebook costs less through Amazon and I want to save money I buy it from Amazon (using the Safari web browser for the technically challenged) and voila, I can read it on my iPad with the Kindle app.

    As others have observed Apple's entry into the ebook market has done nothing but expand options for ebook customers. Besides Apple's publishing efforts there is now a platform for reading ePub formatted books (from other publishers) that is far superior to similar apps that came before it. Also Apple has been trying to innovate on the ePub format to deliver more dynamic content (meh, I just want to have all my books easily available on a lightweight, portable, responsive device).

    The fact that this judge has decided she should punish Apple seems like a perfect illustration of the maxim: No good deed goes unpunished. The only explanation that seems remotely plausible is corruption or massive stupidity. I suppose it could be both.
  • Reply 65 of 132
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post

     

     How do you know more people listen to music than read books? 


    I assume he knows that because everyone knows that. 

    You start listening to music before you learn to read. You listen to music while watch a movie, when you drive, while you are in a queue, as you are shopping. A book on the other hand is a lot of work for a bunch of lazy human beings.

  • Reply 66 of 132
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    It's a mess. Period.


     

    It's a perception issue. I assume you want a nested, unfolding view when replying to others and a subthread is formed?

  • Reply 67 of 132
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post









    Apple was selling millions of iPods at the time so it had a already made plethora of potential customers. There was also rampant piracy which put Apple in a position of power over the industry. Apple was able to set the market and set the price, but in this instance they were late comers.

     

    Sure, but Apple did this through negotiating. It convinced the music publishers that letting it sell singles for 99 cents was good business. The publishers could have said no, and maybe tried to do something with somebody else. People like Bill Gates thought it was amazing that Apple convinced the publishers to allow them to sell the music. Apple did not pressure the publishers by threatening the in some way like Amazon did with ebooks

  • Reply 68 of 132
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thompr View Post

     

    Most merchants do not attempt to resell items below cost, with the exception of temporary promotions or sales to drive foot traffic (or in the case of online "eye traffic").  Keyword there is temporary, like Cyber-Monday-temporary.  At Amazon, eBooks were on a perpetual Cyber Monday sale. Most companies would go out of business doing that as standard practice.  Although Apple is certainly big enough to, since it makes so much profit elsewhere, it does not play that game, nor should it.  If you have a monopoly in a market, such as eBooks, and your standard pricing is so low that you are losing money just to keep competition away, that is illegal.  Go look it up if you must.

     

    Why didn't the publishers sue Amazon?  Well they did complain about Amazon's pricing policies.  But as much as they feared Amazon's power in the eBooks market, they were also dependent on it.  Amazon sells a hell of a lot of books - including physical ones.  So the publishers could grumble, but they were somewhat helpless.

     

    Thompson


     

    Your last sentence kind of sums it up. Publishers could not quit Amazon as a means to sell traditional books anymore than hardware manufactures could have dumped Windows as an operating system when Microsoft insisted they dump Netscape in favor of Explorer. Amazon did the same thing Microsoft was found guilty of. Namely, using its power in one market (traditional online book sales) to gain dominance in another market (the ebook market). 

  • Reply 69 of 132
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    tbell wrote: »
    Apple did not pressure the publishers by threatening the in some way like Amazon did with ebooks. 

    Sure they did, the music industry was not fond of the $9.99 price for albums, and the only way that they could sell individual songs on iTunes was if they agreed to sell albums for $9.99.
  • Reply 70 of 132
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    tbell wrote: »
    Your last sentence kind of sums it up. Publishers could not quit Amazon as a means to sell traditional books anymore than hardware manufactures could have dumped Windows as an operating system when Microsoft insisted they dump Netscape in favor of Explorer. Amazon did the same thing Microsoft was found guilty of. Namely, using its power in one market (traditional online book sales) to gain dominance in another market (the ebook market). 

    The big difference being that Amazon isn't the only place one can get traditional books from.
  • Reply 71 of 132
    thttht Posts: 3,036member

    The question of why Amazon isn't sued for predatory pricing and practices is interesting.

     

    In the Apple v DOJ eBooks trial, the DOJ said they evaluated Amazon's eBooks business and said that Amazon operated it at a profit. When asked to reveal this this information, Judge Denise Cote refused to let these findings out and said to go to the DOJ, the DOJ refused to let these findings out, and both said Amazon is not on trial. On the other hand, Judge Cote believed that Apple VP Eddie Cue and various publisher CEOs and representatives were not credible in their sworn-in, under oath testimony. Huh.

     

    There's no proof whatsoever that Amazon makes any net income on eBooks. Considering the size of Amazon's online retail, ebooks is probably sitting in the 3rd significant digit (hundreds of millions) or maybe 4 significant digit (tens of millions) and easily covered by a rounding of an online retail number. Maybe they really do make a profit, who knows, but the chance to know is basically gone. 

     

    As long as Amazon keeps its financials inside a blackbox, it's probably impossible to figure out how well its businesses are doing and whether this or that part of Amazon makes money? Nobody knows how many Kindles have been sold. Do we even know how many ebooks Amazon have been sold? Not an estimate, but an actual reported number? Then, do we even know what those books cost Amazon?

     

    The law (DOJ) and the courts will be fumbling around for awhile figuring out what all what the digital economy is about. As it stands now, they are applying laws based on physical goods to digital goods which is crazy imo. A lot things technology companies do that they think is perfectly normal may not be right in the physical goods world, but that's what the law is entirely based on.

  • Reply 72 of 132
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,855member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    One it isn't different. Since one can only buy apps from Apple's App Store you'll never see a difference in price. Amazon basically started the ebook market and went with the wholesale model in which they control the price, the publishers have little to no say in the final selling price, they get a agreed upon price from Amazon for every ebook sold.



    With the agency model the publishers set the price and Apple gets a 30% cut, so in order for them to get the same amount from Apple as they do from Amazon they had to raise the price.



    Two, after the ruling Apple had to tear up the contracts with the publishers and negotiate new ones with the condition that it negotiate with the publishers one at a time instead of collectively.



    First, then Apple can be sued for the App Store too. 

    Second, does Amazon negotiate with the publishers one at a time?  Why is this needed?  For most goods the manufacturers sell to the retailers at a discount to MSRP.  The retailers then set a price to sell.  Apple's model is fundamentally the same as this.  Only that Apple decided to mark up at 30%.  So Apple is not legal.  The DOJ and the judge is all screwed up in their brain.

  • Reply 73 of 132
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thompr View Post

     

     

    The problem I have with Amazon's approach is that they purposely operated at a loss.  They paid the publishers more per title than they charged the consumers.  This artificially low price prevented any possibility of competition in the eBooks market, and that is illegal.  In order for Apple to get into the game and not also operate at a loss, they modified their strategy in a way that broke Amazon's strategy.  Thus Amazon was forced to stop its predatory pricing, and it got the competition it deserved.

     

    The court addresses both of these in the case. They state that Amazon has consistently run its ebook department at a profit and cheap ebooks were loss leaders. It also clearly states that the appropriate remedy for Apple was not to break the law, and so that excuse can hold no weight whatsoever.

  • Reply 74 of 132
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

     



    First, then Apple can be sued for the App Store too. 

    Second, does Amazon negotiate with the publishers one at a time?  Why is this needed?  For most goods the manufacturers sell to the retailers at a discount to MSRP.  The retailers then set a price to sell.  Apple's model is fundamentally the same as this.  Only that Apple decided to mark up at 30%.  So Apple is not legal.  The DOJ and the judge is all screwed up in their brain.




    Apple's model was completely the opposite of this. It explicitly wasn't wholesale pricing.

  • Reply 75 of 132
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post





    The free market allows whomever is clever enough and sells the most wins- Apple w eMusic, Amazon w eBooks. It also allows allows the consumer to be free to make a choice and not be elbowed into paying for something at 50% more than it previously had. Again if it was illegal why didn't anyone take Amazon to court including Apple rather than collude?

     

    Because what Amazon was doing was not illegal.  What Amazon was doing was hurting and discouraging publishers to publish eBooks.  Without an agency model, nobody is willing to enter the eBooks market with new hardware (maybe except Sony).  Even MFN is not illegal.

  • Reply 76 of 132
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,855member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post

     



    Apple's model was completely the opposite of this. It explicitly wasn't wholesale pricing.




    Yes, it is. 

  • Reply 77 of 132
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

     

     

    It's a perception issue. I assume you want a nested, unfolding view when replying to others and a subthread is formed?


     

    How about just having it stop saving previous posts and quotations, so when the next time one posts both the old and new text doesn't appear?

  • Reply 78 of 132
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member

    States, looking for money, think they have found some. They hope it can be tripled too. With a side of fries.

  • Reply 79 of 132
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

     

    It's a perception issue. I assume you want a nested, unfolding view when replying to others and a subthread is formed?


    Yeah, the regular, recurrent crashes -- on the iPad, iPhone, and OSX -- must all be just a perception issue.....

  • Reply 80 of 132
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

     

    How about just having it stop saving previous posts and quotations, so when the next time one posts both the old and new text doesn't appear?






    Or how about a reference starting the prior statement followed by 3 ellipses being active that has the content collapsed, by default, so if anyone wants to view it they can, within the thread?

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