Apple calls DoJ e-book settlement proposal unlawful, says trial is needed

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  • Reply 21 of 115
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,656member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    Still only makes at best a could have scenario, because it has happened in the past does not guarantee it'll happen again.


     


    You apparently don't recognize how ridiculous your argument is (It's ok, that happens a lot around here). You are essentially arguing that since we can't prove Amazon would raise prices, we must assume that they won't. But, you fail to acknowledge that you can't prove they won't either. Therefore, what we do have to go on is how these things have played out in the past, which is that monopolies that control entire industries result in consumer harm through higher prices, among other things. This history is, in fact, the entire basis of our anti-trust law. Yet, you and the DoJ are arguing that we should ignore that history, ignore the basis  for the law, and just trust Amazon to, "do the right thing." The reasonable assumption, however, based on our previous experience with monopolies, is that we cannot trust them to act in the public interest (and why would they?), but contrary to it. Thus, the only rational conclusion is that a government sanctioned Amazon monopoly, which is what the outcome will be if the DoJ prevails, will be harmful to consumers and result in higher prices and less choice.


     


    You see, when you apply logic and reason, not emotions and wishes, to problems, the conclusions are pretty straightforward.

  • Reply 22 of 115
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    anonymouse wrote: »
    You apparently don't recognize how ridiculous your argument is (It's ok, that happens a lot around here). You are essentially arguing that since we can't prove Amazon would raise prices, we must assume that they won't. But, you fail to acknowledge that you can't prove they won't either. Therefore, what we do have to go on is how these things have played out in the past, which is that monopolies that control entire industries result in consumer harm through higher prices, among other things. This history is, in fact, the entire basis of our anti-trust law. Yet, you and the DoJ are arguing that we should ignore that history, ignore the basis  for the law, and just trust Amazon to, "do the right thing." The reasonable assumption, however, based on our previous experience with monopolies, is that we cannot trust them to act in the public interest (and why would they?), but contrary to it. Thus, the only rational conclusion is that a government sanctioned Amazon monopoly, which is what the outcome will be if the DoJ prevails, will be harmful to consumers and result in higher prices and less choice.

    You see, when you apply logic and reason, not emotions and wishes, to problems, the conclusions are pretty straightforward.

    Show me where I said they won't. I don't want Amazon to have a monopoly, my problem is that the publishers entered into an agreement with Apple that directly conflicted with their agreement with Amazon and assured that they'll never be a free market on ebooks because there had to be a price guarantee across the board. If Amazon wants to price a book lower than it is in the iBook store it should be their right and only their business to do so. I don't believe Apple is guilty of anything other than doing what's best for them.
  • Reply 23 of 115
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    felix01 wrote: »
    What is there to settle? Apple denies all allegations DoJ has claimed.

    You've got to admit, DoJ's track record on these shaky cases hasn't been great...they've consistently come up short and lost...John Edwards, Roger Clemens, etc.

    They are just looking for a way to save face on this one before another embarrassing lawsuit loss.

    Good on Apple for defending vigorously and demanding Justice prove their allegations in court. Should be fun watching a bunch of GS 12/13/14 lawyers making $125k/year going up against Apple's $750-$1000/hour corporate lawyers.

    I don't understand your query? You make a statement about not understanding why the DoJ would want this to be settled before it goes to court but then make comments that show that you know why the DoJ would want to to settle.
  • Reply 24 of 115
    galaxytab wrote: »
    As long as the best outcome for consumers is met, I could care less about whoever may be a monopolist or who colluded.
    Consumer first.

    Not sure if you know what the best outcome as a consumer is if it hit you in the face.

    Just guessin'.......'
  • Reply 25 of 115
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I don't understand your query? You make a statement about not understanding why the DoJ would want this to be settled before it goes to court but then make comments that show that you know why the DoJ would want to to settle.

    That's not what he said. Clearly the DOJ wants to settle - especially since they're asking for remedies that are worse than what would likely be handed down by the court even if Apple loses a case.

    His comments appeared to be directed at Apple. Apple has denied all the allegations and apparently believes there's nothing to settle. They believe they did nothing wrong and have no desire to destroy their eBook business over a non-issue.
  • Reply 26 of 115
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    jragosta wrote: »
    Apple has denied all the allegations and apparently believes there's nothing to settle. They believe they did nothing wrong and have no desire to destroy their eBook business over a non-issue.

    So you say Apple nothing to settle but is also claiming the opposite of their accuser's position. How the hell can you say there is no disagreement to settle? Apple wants the court case because they are certain that would settle this case in their favour and, from I can tell, are expecting the DoJ to settle out of court to prevent embarrassment. Now that iBooks is established I'm guessing Apple would give up the most favoured nation clause.
  • Reply 27 of 115
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    So you say Apple nothing to settle but is also claiming the opposite of their accuser's position. How the hell can you say there is no disagreement to settle? Apple wants the court case because they are certain that would settle this case in their favour and, from I can tell, are expecting the DoJ to settle out of court to prevent embarrassment. Now that iBooks is established I'm guessing Apple would give up the most favoured nation clause.

    I think that will be the outcome as well. An amended agreement versus a broken one is much better. I'm curious if the agreements with Amazon and the publishers are of a time length. At contract renewal time the publishers will have more leverage to get a agency model over the wholesale model because of competitors like Apple.
  • Reply 28 of 115
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post



    As long as the best outcome for consumers is met, I could care less about whoever may be a monopolist or who colluded.

    Consumer first.


     


    Wow, morals certainly aren't your strong point are they?  

  • Reply 29 of 115
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    So you say Apple nothing to settle but is also claiming the opposite of their accuser's position. How the hell can you say there is no disagreement to settle? Apple wants the court case because they are certain that would settle this case in their favour and, from I can tell, are expecting the DoJ to settle out of court to prevent embarrassment. Now that iBooks is established I'm guessing Apple would give up the most favoured nation clause.

    I believe what he's saying is that companies settle when there is some mutual ground for agreement. If Apple felt that they were on shaky ground or that they were partially in the wrong, they would have a reason to approach the DOJ about settlement.

    When the two parties are completely diametrically opposed, chances of reaching an agreement are slim to none.
  • Reply 30 of 115
    solipsismx wrote: »
    So you say Apple nothing to settle but is also claiming the opposite of their accuser's position. How the hell can you say there is no disagreement to settle? Apple wants the court case because they are certain that would settle this case in their favour and, from I can tell, are expecting the DoJ to settle out of court to prevent embarrassment. Now that iBooks is established I'm guessing Apple would give up the most favoured nation clause.

    "Settling" has nothing to do with "settling a disagreement". To settle in this context is to come to some kind of compromise, to reach a verdict that both parties can accept. The defendant (Apple) would have to admit to wrong doing, perhaps to a lesser crime, but perhaps be spared the expense and ignominy of a public trial; and in exchange, the DOJ would offer a smaller fine/punishment.

    Guilty defendants settle -- or those who have no way to present their own case and feel the evidence is stacked circumstantially against them and don't want to put their life in the hands of a jury which would be a lottery. Better to take ten years for a lesser crime than risk life or execution.

    He was saying that the DoJ wants Apple to settle out of court. Ostensibly because the DoJ has no real case against Apple and will be embarrassed in open court. So why should Apple "settle" and admit any wrong doing when it believes there is no case?

    Of course there is a disagreement to settle -- the DoJ believes there is a case, and Apple believes there isn't a case. That's exactly what Apple wants to show the world. Apple will be justified and their position on the disagreement will be vindicated. The DoJ will have to reinstate the earlier contracts or compensate the accused parties in some way, or maybe start a case against Amazon. Unless the DoJ just drops all charges now --- that is what the DoJ can do now to "settle out of court".
  • Reply 31 of 115
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,656member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    Show me where I said they won't. I don't want Amazon to have a monopoly, my problem is that the publishers entered into an agreement with Apple that directly conflicted with their agreement with Amazon and assured that they'll never be a free market on ebooks because there had to be a price guarantee across the board. If Amazon wants to price a book lower than it is in the iBook store it should be their right and only their business to do so. I don't believe Apple is guilty of anything other than doing what's best for them.


     


    When you declare the opposite position "a lie" it's fairly clear what you are asserting, even if you think it offers you plausible deniability.


     


    But, of course, your argument continues to ignore a number of facts. First of all, the most favored nation clause doesn't fix the price, it just says, "you won't screw us by making us sell it for more than you allow other people." Regardless of how some want to twist that into price fixing, it's really just a fairness clause. Secondly, there has been no general increase in eBook prices as a result of Apple's entry into the eBook market. And lastly, the agreements in place before the DoJ interfered in the market in its misguided attempt to shore up Amazon's crumbling monopoly, restored a healthy balance that going forward would have fostered competition and choice. There is absolutely no upside for anyone to the DoJ's actions, other than for Amazon. Publisher's get screwed, all other booksellers get screwed, and the public bears the brunt of devastating an industry because some legal hacks in Washington didn't understand what they were getting involved in and are unable to swallow their pride and admit they screwed up.

  • Reply 32 of 115
    ignatzignatz Posts: 10member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    See I don't get that. Does Apple buy the ebook or does it just handle the transaction then collect 30%?


     


     


    Apple doesn't buy the eBooks.  All they do is act as a conduit for the publishers, who sell directly to the consumer.  The publisher sells its own stuff, at the price it wants.  The DOJ wants Apple to set the prices, but Apple will just set the prices at the level the publishers expect.


     


    That's the crazy thing.  The DOJ wants to drag Apple into he middle of things, when Apple has nothing to do with setting prices.  If it wasn't for Apple, Amazon would be a monopoly with nobody else selling eBooks,  With Apple, the publishers are fee to set prices where they should be, instead of Amazon screwing consumers.


     


    The publishers know how much the books should cost, and they have every incentive to compete.


     


    But the DOJ wants to make the contracts between Apple and the publishers illegal.  All that will do is to raise prices for consumers.

  • Reply 33 of 115
    technotechno Posts: 732member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post



    I believe the following statement in the article to be false - "At issue is Apple's so-called agency model, in which a publisher is free to set e-book pricing in a "most favored nations" agreement that forbids them from offering the same content to another reseller at a lower price."

    In fact, I believe the agreement said that if they offered a lower price to another company, they needed to offer the same price to Apple. That is much different than "forbid" from offering lowere prices.


    Thank you. I too found that worded in correctly. Left me scratching my head.

  • Reply 34 of 115
    sleepy3sleepy3 Posts: 244member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ignatz View Post


     


      If it wasn't for Apple, Amazon would be a monopoly with nobody else selling eBooks,  With Apple, the publishers are fee to set prices where they should be, instead of Amazon screwing consumers.


     


    The publishers know how much the books should cost, and they have every incentive to compete.


     


    But the DOJ wants to make the contracts between Apple and the publishers illegal.  All that will do is to raise prices for consumers.



    Didn't SJ say that the agency model 'would raise prices, but that is what the publishers want anyway'?


     


    How is it that Apple is using a model which raises prices good for consumers?


     


    Don't know about you, but any 'model' which raises prices I don't want. And i can assure you 99% of people also will not be in favor of any model which raises prices. 


     


    Here's the quote: "We'll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway."


    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304444604577337573054615152.html


     


    Why must we pay a little more? Why didn't Apple instead take 20% and have us pay a little less? And the worst part, why FORCE amazon to have to use the same model if it means amazon has to RAISE prices on consumers? I understand they want ever higher margins, but c'mon, their margins are already the highest probably of any company in the world ever. How greedy are they?

  • Reply 35 of 115
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    anonymouse wrote: »
    When you declare the opposite position "a lie" it's fairly clear what you are asserting, even if you think it offers you plausible deniability.

    But, of course, your argument continues to ignore a number of facts. First of all, the most favored nation clause doesn't fix the price, it just says, "you won't screw us by making us sell it for more than you allow other people." Regardless of how some want to twist that into price fixing, it's really just a fairness clause. Secondly, there has been no general increase in eBook prices as a result of Apple's entry into the eBook market. And lastly, the agreements in place before the DoJ interfered in the market in its misguided attempt to shore up Amazon's crumbling monopoly, restored a healthy balance that going forward would have fostered competition and choice. There is absolutely no upside for anyone to the DoJ's actions, other than for Amazon. Publisher's get screwed, all other booksellers get screwed, and the public bears the brunt of devastating an industry because some legal hacks in Washington didn't understand what they were getting involved in and are unable to swallow their pride and admit they screwed up.

    I'll agree that there's the possibility of Amazon raising prices, saying that they absolutely will without much merit is what I called a lie. What if I went around saying "Amazon won't raise prices", most here would argue against me. I'm also in agreement with the most of your post. I have seen studies where prices have gone up and some have gone down. Now how's that possible? I believe that while some books were underpriced others were overpriced. I believe ultimately the agency model will level out the pricing "see saw".
  • Reply 36 of 115
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,477member
    sleepy3 wrote: »
    Didn't SJ say that the agency model 'would raise prices, but that is what the publishers want anyway'?

    How is it that Apple is using a model which raises prices good for consumers?

    Don't know about you, but any 'model' which raises prices I don't want. And i can assure you 99% of people also will not be in favor of any model which raises prices. 


    But is what Apple did illegal? Is Justice about what 99% of the people want or is it about what the law is? 99% of "the people" might want a government to regulate pricing but that doesn't make it legal.
  • Reply 37 of 115
    sleepy3sleepy3 Posts: 244member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post





    But is what Apple did illegal? Is Justice about what 99% of the people want or is it about what the law is? 99% of "the people" might want a government to regulate pricing but that doesn't make it legal.


    I didn't include any opinion about whether it was legal or not. I'm just talking from a moral standpoint. Why do that to people? Why not just compete with Amazon and beat their pricing?


     


    Then again, Apple is all about a premium experience. Keep the more expensive books and offer something on top that makes it worth the extra money and see if consumers are willing to pay more for the same book but with the Apple experience. 


     


    Don't go forcing the publishers to make Amazon accept the agency model which will have them raise their prices. Let the consumer decide. 


     


    Pay Apple more....or pay amazon less. Consumers regularly pay more for Apple products anyway, so you never know, charging more may have worked without having to force amazon into the same model. 

  • Reply 38 of 115
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    A
    ignatz wrote: »

    Apple doesn't buy the eBooks.  All they do is act as a conduit for the publishers, who sell directly to the consumer.  The publisher sells its own stuff, at the price it wants.  The DOJ wants Apple to set the prices, but Apple will just set the prices at the level the publishers expect.

    That's the crazy thing.  The DOJ wants to drag Apple into he middle of things, when Apple has nothing to do with setting prices.  If it wasn't for Apple, Amazon would be a monopoly with nobody else selling eBooks,  With Apple, the publishers are fee to set prices where they should be, instead of Amazon screwing consumers.

    The publishers know how much the books should cost, and they have every incentive to compete.

    But the DOJ wants to make the contracts between Apple and the publishers illegal.  All that will do is to raise prices for consumers.

    Then why the clause that "a publisher cannot offer the content to a reseller lower than it does to Apple". If Apple is just handling the transaction then they aren't buying anything from the wholesalers (publishers).
  • Reply 39 of 115
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member

    Exactly!
    The government must prove collusion.

    It goes deeper than that. The DoJ had ample proof against the publishers but not Apple which of course Apple would want on record.

    But Apple is also fighting the idea that the agency model is unlawful and the idea that the DoJ has the right to decide the 'right' pricing for ebooks.

    AND, this is the kicker, Apple is arguing that the DoJ had no right to terminate Apple's contracts with those houses that have settled.
  • Reply 40 of 115
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    freerange wrote: »
    In fact, I believe the agreement said that if they offered a lower price to another company, they needed to offer the same price to Apple. That is much different than "forbid" from offering lowere prices.

    It's a little bit of a semantics game, but yes. It keeps the playing field level. Much like street dates do.

    And Amazon has and has had the same clause for ages. And uses it.
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