Video: Steve Jobs predicted or knew of publisher revolt

“A 2010 video has surfaced of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs prognosticating that e-books would eventually wind up around the same price on most competing e-book stores,” Electronista reports.

“The video comes as the Justice Department pursues its e-book lawsuit against Apple and two other publishers for alleged price-collusion,” Electronista reports. “Depending on one’s interpretation of the video, Jobs’ statement could imply foreknowledge of publisher plans or just industry canniness, and could even figure in the Justice Department’s case.”

Electronista reports, “The video was shot on January 27, 2010, at the launch of the original iPad. In it, The Wall Street Journal‘s Walt Mossberg asks Jobs why a customer would pay $14.99 for an iBook when they could get the same e-book from Amazon for $9.99. Jobs replies that ‘[E-book] prices will be the same … the publishers are actually going to withhold their books from Amazon.’ It is unclear whether Jobs’ statement indicates some degree of insider knowledge as to the publishers’ leanings, or whether he was simply making an educated guess as to the likely outcome of the publishers’ ongoing struggles with Amazon.”

Read more in the full article here.

See the video via The Wall Street Journal / AllThingsD here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

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Apple vs. Amazon: Who’s really fixing eBook prices? – April 17, 2012
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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
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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
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  1. My guess is it’s an educated guess. Publishers want to make more money so naturally they’d go with the higher-cost avenue where they can choose prices. You can sell a ton up front on Amazon cheap, but in the long haul it seems like they’d make much more on the other model.

    1. That’s not accurate. Amazon was even selling some books at a loss “dumping” to drive out competitors. Amazon was doing something illegal and should be under investigation for abusive monopolist behavior.

      But in a twist of fate and a gross miscarriage of justice, likely funded by corruption in the US injustice department they are acting as Amazons stooges and trying to break the kneecaps of Amazons competitors to force a monopoly by Amazon which will put the future of knowledge and publishing in the hands of a single company.

      A future that should terrify anyone who reads, or who cares about the spread of knowledge and information.

      1. I think your take is right on the money. The question I have is: What happens when Apple starts selling a fully functional iPad in the Kindle form factor (weight, size and battery life) at a very close price? If Kindle hardware sales dry up, where is Amazons advantage selling e-books at a loss?

        I’m already seeing the need for a single library, with a reader app which can access all the books I’ve purchased, no matter the source. Maybe the real government role here is to establish an interoperability standard. Kind of like making all the railroads a standard gauge.

  2. Such damning evidence. The fact that this is making headlines as part of the DoJ case against Apple is laughable.

    “Your honor, I’d like to submit the government’s exhibit H: a video of Steve Jobs saying publishers would withhold offerings from Amazon if they got to make more money with Apple”


  3. Had Apple and others concocted for a suggested retail price of $11-15 (notice: more variation, with $11 just slightly higher than Amazon’s $9.99), they might have gotten away with it, even without any agreements (which we don’t know for sure existed).
    Instead, a better ecosystem might have won the market over.

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