Apple: U.S. DOJ’s accusation of collusion against iBookstore is simply not true

Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr has provided AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka with the following attempt regarding the U.S. DOJ’s decision to file antitrust charges against Apple and major book publishers:

The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.

Related articles:
Apple not likely to be a loser in legal fight over eBooks – April 12, 2012
16 U.S. states join DOJ’s eBook antitrust action against Apple, publishers – April 12, 2012
Australian gov’t considers suing Apple, five major publishers over eBook pricing – April 12, 2012
DOJ’s panties in a bunch over Apple and eBooks, but what about Amazon? – April 12, 2012
Antitrust experts: Apple likely to beat U.S. DOJ, win its eBook lawsuit – April 12, 2012
Why the market shrugged off the Apple antitrust suit – April 11, 2012
What’s wrong with the U.S. DOJ? – April 11, 2012
Macmillan CEO blasts U.S. DOJ; gov’t on verge of killing real competition for appearance of competition – April 11, 2012
U.S. DOJ hits Apple,major publishers with antitrust lawsuit, alleges collusion on eBook prices – April 11, 2012
U.S. DOJ may sue Apple over ebook price-fixing as early as today, sources say – April 11, 2012

43 Comments

    1. To a simple guy like me it seems as obvious as “Deep Pockets.” Government needs more revenue; App[le has lots of money. And the government of too chicken to tax the rich directly.
      Simple.

  1. I hope Eric Holder of the DOJ gets his ass handed to him on a humbled platter. This is a case of total government interference in the free market system. They have no right to try to regulate the publishing industry. No one said books can’t exist pricing wise in a wide spectrum of prices from free to whatever. It’s not as though no books will be priced at $9.99. What they are doing in fact is evil assisting Amazon be the ruination of the publishing industry. Why doesn’t the government go after the gouging of the American public by the oil companies – answer? The oil companies have politicians in their pocket.

    1. Is it really the oil companies or is it Wall Street speculators? I’ve read that speculation adds $1 to the price of each gallon; I wonder if that is true. I suspect it is.

      1. Yes they do. Free market capitalism requires that parties who never intend to use a drop of oil be allowed to speculate in the futures market. If money were meant to stay in peoples pockets they wouldn’t have an opening at the top.

        1. Agreed. It is extremly convenient for the politicians and their propaganda mouth pieces to divert attention away from the source of the problem. As usual, the problem is because of our Corporate Oligarchy Overlords. And also as usual, the dumbass execuTards who run most of our self-destructive biznizziz default to The Spirit of the Age: Screw They Customer.

          I consider this fact to have an ENORMOUS DUH Factor. Apparently, it still flies over the head of a huge portion of the citizenry who demand that the Corporate Oligarchy Puppets take over our government. The ignorance of this sheeple behavior also has and ENORMOUS DUH Factor.

          The only solution I know of is education. Thus the denigration of our nation’s education system by our Corporate Oligarchy Overlords. And yet again, this behavior has an ENORMOUS DUH Factor. The sheeple have spoken.

  2. “Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.”

    They say there are lies and damn lies. That’s a whopper of a damned lie.

    Apple’s books do not have one more word than the Kindle version and have caused the prices on all platforms to increase. Last time I checked, books were about words- not animated picture eye candy.

    Of course the short attention span crowd used to endless jump cuts and gaudy supers might want to pay 1/3rd-1/2 more for the same book because they cannot pay attention for that long.

    1. It’s not a damned lie, you ancient dinosaur. The only reason books have historically been about words is because that’s all you could do on a printed page! With today’s technology, high resolution images, videos, and interactive experiences only increase the learning possibilities of books. You’re obviously someone who doesn’t like change or advancement. I bet you don’t even own a cell phone. In fact, what are you doing using a computer? You have too good an attention span for these things.

      1. MacPro, LED Cinema with Final Cut Suite, Logic, & Aperture installed.
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        Apple shareholder since 2001. Apple customer since Apple II. Mac user since 1985. I didn’t have to switch, Junior.

    2. They were cheaper because Amazon was abusing its monopoly to destroy competition and bookstores, by selling ebooks below cost.

      I’m sure you will be happy if all bookstores have to close, right?

      1. No I actually like my local bookseller. My local bookseller does not carry everything and the combined sales tax level of 10% is ridiculous. When I order it is online and for most books in Kindle format.
        Ii have purchased a number of books on Apples store and see no great advantage over the Kindle app on my iPad. In fact, I can read them on my LED Cinema on my Mac- something Apple does not provide for.

    3. Many good books have graphs and pictures of things like circuits which are best expressed visually. They’re not picture candy, they’re a necessity. Maybe the progessive agent attended classses where ideas were viewed exclusively by the mind’s eye.

      1. Textbooks are not most books- neither are photography collections. Most books are largely text or text and simple illustrations.
        As to rich media, Amazon and others were already moving that way with Adobe AIR.

    4. I agree, a whopper of a damned lie.

      Although, publishers _do_ in fact set the prices. And eBooks _are_ in fact getting more interactive.

      I guess it’s a _true_ whopper of a damned lie.

    5. Prove prices have increased since iBooks opened. I have dozens of books on my Kindle app that cost me nothing. I have books in iBooks and Kindle that cost a few pounds, and I have entire authors collections spread across Stanza, Kindle and iBooks, precisely because I could get them cheaper on one or the other. Show me how books are more expensive, and give proof, because I think you are lying, in fact, from my personal experience, I *know* you are lying.

      1. How about an email from Amazon “to our customers” concerning the price increases that date from the time Apple’s agreement with the publishers. So much for “knowing”. Get a life, fanboi.

          1. Why do these foreign socialists want so badly for the US to down that road and then down the toilet with them too? Why not worry about your own freaking countries and leave us the hell alone!!!!!! Commies!

  3. Seems to me Amazon was engaging in something similar to price dumping. Automotive companies are often fined for this practice when caught. Microsoft was also sued for abusing its operating system monopoly when it offered Internet Explorer free and made it the default Web browser on Windows. It displaced Netscape. It may not be illegal for Amazon to price books at a loss, but the practice is just as dirty. I agree that the agency model did in fact break Amazon’s grip and made the eBook market more competitive.

    1. I was wondering when somebody was going to figure this out. Amazon was selling below cost to stifle competition and favor the kindle and its kindle app. It falls under unfair competition, dumping is when a company sells below cost in one market to kill competitiors but sells above retail in another to finance the dumping.

      This is not a loss leader either. A loss leader must be coupled with another transaction or sales cycle that is ultimately profitable. Game consoles are a good example.

    1. The problem is, if he destroys book stores and breaks publishers before he goes that damage may be catastrophic and permanant.

      I look at Obama and Holder with great suspicion and if they succeed in ruining this industry they will be like the group of humans that destroyed the Library of AlexAndria. You could not find anyone in history I have greater contempt for than them.

  4. The DoJ is colluding with Amazon to resurrect its monopolistic enterprise. The AG is putting the cart before the horse. He is siding with a monopolist which has more than 90% of the market, achieved through price gouging and product dumping. Just because Amazon is charging below cost price does not mean it is good for the consumers in the long run. Books are a cultural thing and once you destroy this intellectual aspect of the industry, the long-term result would be disastrous, leading to mediocre standards. Nobody is going to do serious research to write a good book if he is going to be paid a pittance. Just as the US has lost many industries to others through short-sightedness of politicians and bureaucrats, the book industry will also migrate to such places as India and China. Workers will be thrown out of job and thousands of stores will be shuttered for good. Think tanks will say that the workers can go and do other jobs because the US is resilient. But the politicians have screwed up so many areas of human endeavors in the US that the rate of resiliency itself has become a victim of neglect. So why has the US, which was the premier country in so many areas of disciplines two decades ago, declined so precipitously? This has to do with the poor quality of narcissistic politicians and bureaucrats running the country now.

    Are we going to see the repeat of the devastating result of the collusion of politicians with the banking industry again. At that time the politician claim that cheap loans and credit will help consumers to realize the American dream. In the short-term it seemed that this tactic was working, but soon the banks were gouging customers with high interest rate for their cheap loans. In the long run the whole economy tanked thanks to the unconscionable conduct of the greedy bankers.

    Amazon is in the making of such a creature. Nobody with a thinking brain would believe that Amazon could sustain itself on perpetual losses. A time would come when it will have to recover for all such losses. And being a monopolist you know the answer.

  5. Ever since Apple and iBooks was launched it caused a shake up in the eBook industry and broke Amazon’s lower priced model for Kindle owners. Ok, reality check. Ever compare the price of an eBook to a printed book lately? Go to Chapters or Indigo etc. In most cases the eBook is way more than a printed book. The does not sit right with me because the cost to distribute an eBook is amost nothing and it can’t be passed along or repurposed like a regular book.. I think from a consumers perspective, the Kindle pricing model worked $9.99 for a new bestseller and $14.99 for a printed version. Makes more sense to me. Now with this Agency model, books are crazy expensive. Also, compare books even from Canada & USA, on average they are 40% more in Canada and our dollar is at Par or worth a bit more than the US. There are so many easy ways for people to “download” digital version of these things also BUT if the prices are resonable, they probably would buy them. Also, if you compare how Apps are priced on a iPhone or IPad compared to PSN Store, Xbox Live and Nintendo, they are all usually $4.99 or less for an app. The exact same app easily starts at $9.99 – $19.99. Reality check.

  6. We know full well that this TechTard lawsuit is going to blow up in the TechTard government’s face.

    SO! When will the TechTard president create an actual cabinet position for Secretary Of Technology? Such a position is SORELY needed right about NOW.

      1. Oh I know! Just hand everything over to our Corporate Oligarchy Overlords, the people who gave us our ongoing worldwide economic depression.

        There is such a thing as a government that actually represents its people. We just don’t happen to have one in the USA, not from EITHER PoliTard party. Which teat do you prefer? Surprise! It doesn’t matter. Both teats are part of the same-old-whore. And she stinks bad, never showers, always shooting up with money to get high. Get too close and you’ll catch her social disease. 😉

        (Riffing on a metaphor, not tripping balls).

          1. I find the incoherence of the Neo-Con-Job suckers to be an insult to the human species. Would that I didn’t have to stick around while you all busily destroy everything humane, faking ‘Christianity’ while spreading HATE at every turn. Worthlessness is what you engender in yourselves. Self-destruction. You’re welcome to it. 😛

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