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Old 10-07-2013, 20:39
Everything Goes
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Apple conspired with publishers to fix the price of electronic books, a US judge has ruled.

Judge Cote said: "The plaintiffs have shown that the publisher defendants conspired with each other to eliminate retail price competition in order to raise e-book prices, and that Apple played a central role in facilitating and executing that conspiracy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23259935
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Old 10-07-2013, 21:54
jabbamk1
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Not surprising.

Although this is common practice for a lot of companies these days.
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Old 10-07-2013, 22:38
swordman
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I hope price fixing isn't common if so you should report it
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Old 10-07-2013, 22:49
purple bunny
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Vile, just VILE.
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Old 10-07-2013, 22:51
The Lord Lucan
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Victory for Amazon, but not for the consumer.
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Old 10-07-2013, 22:59
wilt
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Victory for Amazon, but not for the consumer.
Well, since Apple & publishers were attempting to increase prices above what Amazon were selling for, I'm not seeing a downside for the consumer at the moment.
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Old 10-07-2013, 23:03
swordman
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No much better to have prices fixed by apple the consumer doesn't know what's best for him

God bless apple and the choices they make for the consumer
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Old 11-07-2013, 00:11
whoever,hey
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Victory for Amazon, but not for the consumer.
Yeah, price fixing is great isn't it.
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Old 11-07-2013, 00:24
jabbamk1
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Victory for Amazon, but not for the consumer.
explain?
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:37
Anika Hanson
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So pleased with this verdict.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:52
calico_pie
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Obviously there was some degree of dodgy dealings, but I'm not sure its totally clear cut.

If it had been that Apple and all the publishers conspired to charge as much for a an ebook as a physical book, which would have been an artificially high price, I think that would have been far worse.

But in this case, Amazon had reached a point where it had the publishers over a barrel, whereby their prices had arguably become artificially low.

And Apple and the publishers sought to price ebooks somewhere in between those two price points.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:05
swordman
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You mean you don't think Apple have done anything that bad really? Good god I'm shocked you think that so unlike you

We've had this take and the it was beneficial to the consumer any other takers on why price fixing by Apple actually isn't that bad and we should all actually thank them
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:13
Anika Hanson
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No it wasn't beneficial to me when the price of my amazon ebooks went up by several pounds.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:23
The Lord Lucan
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Amazon forced prices so low that Publishers were seeing no point in putting content online.

As much as i'd love the very cheapest prices there has to be a balance so that publishers/authors feel the need/incentive to actually digitise or upload the books online in the first place.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:26
IslandNiles
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Amazon forced prices so low that Publishers were seeing no point in putting content online.

As much as i'd love the very cheapest prices there has to be a balance so that publishers/authors feel the need/incentive to actually digitise or upload the books online in the first place.
Amazon's 'set by the publisher' Kindle prices mean that their ebooks are often as expensive or more expensive than their physical counterparts, which is an absolutely ludicrous state of affairs.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:30
calico_pie
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You mean you don't think Apple have done anything that bad really?
Where did I say that?

Oh yeah - I didn't.

Your ability to put words in people's mouths is breathtaking.

How about when you reply to posts, instead of doing that, you read what they've actually posted, and if you disagree with anything, try putting that into something more constructive.

For example:

1. Do you disagree that $10 for an ebook was arguably an artificially low price, only possible due to Amazon's unique position?

2. Do you think that $12-15 is an artificially high price for an ebook, bearing in mind the cost of a physical book?

Or do you just want to carry on playing the man rather than the ball....
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:33
grumpyoldbat
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Amazon forced prices so low that Publishers were seeing no point in putting content online.

As much as i'd love the very cheapest prices there has to be a balance so that publishers/authors feel the need/incentive to actually digitise or upload the books online in the first place.
I think if I was working for a developer, publishing house, or record label, I'd really agree on this point. When the retailer is forcing content creators prices down to rock bottom, there comes a point when they start to think "why bother", but as a consumer, I also don't want to pay over the odds for a product.

Having seen some of Amazon's practices with regards to apps, I do suspect that they were forcing book prices to be artificially low, to the point where it wasn't financially viable for some people to publish.

I think the email from Steve Jobs which was quoted repeatedly in the trial will have caused a lot of damage, because its intent can't now be questioned, but there are lots of different ways it could be interpreted.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:38
calico_pie
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I think if I was working for a developer, publishing house, or record label, I'd really agree on this point. When the retailer is forcing content creators prices down to rock bottom, there comes a point when they start to think "why bother", but as a consumer, I also don't want to pay over the odds for a product.

Having seen some of Amazon's practices with regards to apps, I do suspect that they were forcing book prices to be artificially low, to the point where it wasn't financially viable for some people to publish.

I think the email from Steve Jobs which was quoted repeatedly in the trial will have caused a lot of damage, because its intent can't now be questioned, but there are lots of different ways it could be interpreted.
I agree completely.

I basically think there's a difference between:

a. all companies colluding to keep prices artificially high.

and

b. some companies colluding to prevent their prices from having to be as artificially low as another company is able / willing to sell for.

Sure - both cases involve "collusion", but I think the motives are different.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:50
Everything Goes
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Here is a more detailed look at Apple and the Publishers dealings. Its not just about the price its also about how they conspired.

Things that were banned in the publishers’ settlements, like most-favored-nation clauses that helped Apple or the agency model, could have been perfectly legal, said Judge Denise Cote. Negotiating with multiple publishers or sharing some details might also have been fine. But in this case, "the evidence taken as a whole paints quite a different picture — a clear portrait of a conscious commitment to cross a line and engage in illegal behavior.

" Jobs’ statements were found particularly incriminating: he’d suggested that Amazon would be raising its prices soon after the iBookstore’s launch and told James Murdoch that Apple could help create a market for more expensive ebooks. "Apple," Cote said, "could find no effective way at trial to escape the import of Jobs’ remarks."
http://www.theverge.com/2013/7/10/45...ce-fixing-loss
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:56
Anika Hanson
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I agree completely.

I basically think there's a difference between:

a. all companies colluding to keep prices artificially high.

and

b. some companies colluding to prevent their prices from having to be as artificially low as another company is able / willing to sell for.

Sure - both cases involve "collusion", but I think the motives are different.
Do you really think Apple were thinking about the publishing industry when they colluded? No they were thinking about theur own position in the ebook market and not letting Amazon dominate the market. It was mutually beneficial for Apple and the publishers but lets not kid ourselves that Apple were doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:04
grumpyoldbat
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Do you really think Apple were thinking about the publishing industry when they colluded? No they were thinking about theur own position in the ebook market and not letting Amazon dominate the market. It was mutually beneficial for Apple and the publishers but lets not kid ourselves that Apple were doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.
No, they weren't doing out of the goodness of their hearts, they were doing it so that there was a chance they could compete in the market against the power that Amazon held.

I think we'd all agree that having competition in the market is generally beneficial in the long term for us as consumers, but in this instance it may have forced up prices in the short-medium term.

For me, as a UK consumer of ebooks, this isn't the worst issue around this. I'm more cheesed off that the government deems paper books exempt from VAT, but I have to pay it on ebooks!
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:08
calico_pie
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Do you really think Apple were thinking about the publishing industry when they colluded? No they were thinking about theur own position in the ebook market and not letting Amazon dominate the market. It was mutually beneficial for Apple and the publishers but lets not kid ourselves that Apple were doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.
Again, I never said they were doing anything out of the goodness of their hearts. They are a business, so I don't know why anyone would even expect them to be doing anything "out of the goodness of their hearts".

But having said that, if prices are artificially low in any given industry, then that will ultimately be to the detriment of that industry.

Do you think Amazon's price point of $10 was a realistic price point, or do you think they used their dominant position to create a price point which was artificially too low? And that that price point was geared more towards driving sales of the Kindle, than it was concerned with the long term health of the publishing industry?

Again, in case it isn't clear, none of this is to absolve Apple or the publishers of any wrong doing with regards collusion. But I do think the motives are much more of a grey area than the verdict necessarily suggests.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:11
Anika Hanson
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No, they weren't doing out of the goodness of their hearts, they were doing it so that there was a chance they could compete in the market against the power that Amazon held.

I think we'd all agree that having competition in the market is generally beneficial in the long term for us as consumers, but in this instance it may have forced up prices in the short-medium term.

For me, as a UK consumer of ebooks, this isn't the worst issue around this. I'm more cheesed off that the government deems paper books exempt from VAT, but I have to pay it on ebooks!

I understand the publishers point of view they obviously did not want to let Amazon do what they did with the physical book market. However the consumers have not suffered from Amazon's domination of the physical market, we have benefited from cheaper books. So yes I was miffed when the agency pricing came in because my books became more expensive. However at the same time I do believe that books have value and that authors should be paid for their work, which is why I'm not bothered about whether ebooks cost more or less than their physical counterparts. For me the important thing is content not the medium/format. I'm not one of those who believe that all ebooks should cost £1 or be free!!!
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:17
Anika Hanson
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Again, I never said they were doing anything out of the goodness of their hearts.

But having said that, if prices are artificially low in any given industry, then that will ultimately be to the detriment of that industry.

Do you think Amazon's price point of $10 was a realistic price point, or do you think they used their dominant position to create a price point which was artificially too low? And that that price point was geared more towards driving sales of the Kindle, than it was concerned with the long term health of the publishing industry?

Again, in case it isn't clear, none of this is to absolve Apple or the publishers of any wrong doing with regards collusion. But I do think the motives are much more of a grey area than the verdict necessarily suggests.
No I don't think Amazon are saints either. They were trying to dominate the ebook industry with that strategy (which has been successful in the past) but the agency model prevented them from doing so. As a consumer of amazons books at the time, I saw prices increase as a result so yes I am miffed and I'm glad that Apple have been brought to heel over this. I'm not in anyway an Apple 'hater' by the way. I have several Apple products and often defend them but I won't defend them on this issue because I was personally effected.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:21
IslandNiles
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Do you think Amazon's price point of $10 was a realistic price point, or do you think they used their dominant position to create a price point which was artificially too low? And that that price point was geared more towards driving sales of the Kindle, than it was concerned with the long term health of the publishing industry?
$10 doesn't seem unreasonably low to me for an ebook. Is it?
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