The hot mess that is Apple’s e-book legal fight with U.S. DOJ

“The U.S. Justice Department is painting Apple as the ‘ringmaster’ of an ebook price-fixing conspiracy,” Chris Maxcer writes for MacNewsWorld. “The news came out in court filings made public earlier this week as the DOJ prepares to do battle with the only member of the so-called conspiracy unwilling to admit wrongdoing and take a public spanking.”

“Five influential and powerful publishing companies in the DOJ’s sights — Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster — have already settled the original charges,” Maxcer writes. “A reasonable assumption is that if the publishing houses all settled the charges, then Apple must be guilty, right?”

“Not so fast,” Maxcer writes. “An embattled publishing industry doesn’t have the power, money, or force of will to take on Justice Department. If you’re holding a rock and facing down a giant with one eye, not very many companies are willing to do anything more than turn tail, run, or hunker down and beg forgiveness.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Killing real competition for the appearance of competition is just plain stupid.

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Apple, publishers offer EU e-book antitrust settlement – September 19, 2012
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U.S. senator Schumer: Myopic DOJ needs to drop Apple e-books suit – July 18, 2012
Apple’s U.S. e-books antitrust case set for 2013 trial – June 24, 2012
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  1. I absolutley hate that the government is doing this It justs boils my blood. Why not go attack Amazon or Barns and Noble? They just do it because it’s Apple. It is just a trick to lower down AAPL stock. Big Brother should just stay out of these things.

    1. It couldn’t because Apple is so arrogant could it? Apple seems to act like Jobs. Thus many folks hate Apple. Look at Google, everybody but Apple fans likes Google. Leave the Apple forums and you will see Apple is barely tolerated by the masses. So blame the evil government if you like, but Apple brought this on themselves. Great products, horrible imsge.

      1. you’re an idiot. of all the idiots that comment here, you are the most set a new benchmark for idiotness every time you post. At Idiot Conventions, your face is on a huge poster behind the podium, fellow idiots make pilgrimages to your house, idiot women throw their panties at you. Uneffin’ real.

        1. Thanks. I do agree that I am an idiot. At least I was an idiot as my 1,000 shares of APPL tanked from $705 to $450. I just wish I was as smart as you. I bet you own GOOG, being how smart you are.

          1. …you were the first inductee at The Idiot Hall Of Fame, idiot ancestors retold your legend to their idiot progeny by campfires, neurosurgeons nicknamed frontal lobotomies “Cupertino Joes.”

          2. Considering the BUBBLE of a price GOOG reached yesterday after the oh-so-slick Google I/O Keynote, here’s a free clue:

            See your GOOG now.

            Remember how AAPL’s logical price was KILLED by mere FUD? Considering how solid, innovative and competitive Apple is in the market; And considering how Google is almost exclusively dependent upon marketing surveillance, how temporal, imitative and anti-competitive Google is in the market… If you think AAPL’s fall was nasty, get a load of GOOG’s upcoming fall.

            For the sake of documentation: The price of GOOG at this moment is 910.06, down -5.83 from yesterday’s aetheric high.

          3. Disliking a company or the CEO of a company is NO grounds for Federal prosecution. Arrogance is not a crime, and neither is Apple’s iBook pricing agreements with publishers.

      2. It’s got bugger-all to do with arrogance, but you have your head shoved too far up your own ass to be able to actually read sensible reasons why Apple were in the right here.
        If you had you’d have seen that its not the case that retailers set the price for books, or other products, other than offering discounts from the suppliers set price. All Apple were doing was encouraging all book publishers to follow the well-established agency model for ebook pricing, and Apple would take 30% commission, the same as they do in iTunes and the App Store. All this in order to break Amazon’s monopoly on ebook pricing, where they took an astonishing 70%!
        How difficult is it for you to comprehend that publishers set the prices? How is it that a mammal as slow as you can still have respiratory functions?

  2. Why does the Justice Department think it is OK that Amazon set the price of books by dropping them to 9.99 Apple actually wants to give book publishers some PROFIT, by setting up a range of prices. Additionally, the mere fact that Amazon was not prohibited from launching Kindle reader on iPad suggests that Apple was not forcing people to but books from them if they were using iPad or iPhone. Where is the problem in Apple giving the publishers the ability to have some profit? The only one crying foul here is Amazon because they cant have the lowest price out there, putting other sellers out of business.

    1. It’s what we call “predatory pricing” my friend Amazon is not the only one. Wall Mart, Costco, and others do it to. It is part of the Illuminati’s plan to brainwash the population through their conglomerate “Illuminati Media NetWeb”. Just about every studio, website “Google”, store, restaurant and others are in this group. The only major company to not be apart of this conglomeration is Apple.

      1. Bloody hell, enough of the stupid Illuminati conspiracy crap!
        Here’s a little bit of history for you, about the original Illuminati:
        “The goals of the organization included trying to eliminate superstition, prejudice, and the Roman Catholic Church’s domination over government, philosophy, and science; trying to reduce oppressive state abuses of power, and trying to support the education and treatment of women as intellectual equals.[1] Originally Weishaupt had planned the order to be named the “Perfectibilists”.[2] The group has also been called the Bavarian Illuminati and its ideology has been called “Illuminism”. Many influential intellectuals and progressive politicians counted themselves as members, including Ferdinand of Brunswick and the diplomat Xavier von Zwack, the second-in-command of the order.[5] The order had branches in most European countries: it reportedly had around 2,000 members over the span of ten years.[1] It attracted literary men such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Johann Gottfried Herder and the reigning dukes of Gotha and Weimar.
        In 1777, Karl Theodor became ruler of Bavaria. He was a proponent of Enlightened Despotism and his government banned all secret societies including the Illuminati. Internal rupture and panic over succession preceded its downfall.[1] A March 2, 1785 government edict “seems to have been deathblow to the Illuminati in Bavaria.” Weishaupt had fled and documents and internal correspondences, seized in 1786 and 1787, were subsequently published by the government in 1787.[6] Von Zwack’s home was searched to disclose much of the group’s literature.[5]”
        It was a despotic king, along with the Roman Catholic Church, who were the bad guys, unless, of course, you believe people should be kept in a state of ignorant superstition, and women should be kept as chattels.
        Come to think of it, you are obviously in a state of ignorant superstition yourself, terrified of anyone who’s more enlightened about the real state of things than you are.
        Grow up, little boy, or your mummy will have to give you a spanking.

    2. Listen up you fucking idiotic delusional fanboys.

      Amazon can drop the price of eBooks. But the publisher gets their % royalty on what they set as the retail price. So if I the publisher set my retail price at $9.99 and Amazon sells it for $5, I get my % royalty on $9.99 and Amazon cuts into its own royalty by dropping the price.

      Let me calculate it for you fuckheads:

      $9.99 x 70% = $7 to publisher (- 15 cents per 1 mb download).
      Amazon = -$2

      They basically have $3 to play with, so a better scenario is they drop the price only $1 or at most $2.

      You people are just delusional and refuse to believe anything negative against Apple. Apple had the most draconian eBook sales policies and artificially inflated the prices of eBooks to around $12.99 for books that were $9.99 on Amazon. They did this by forcing publishers who signed with them to not be allowed to sell it cheaper anywhere else. This latter is the major problem for Apple.

      They know what they did. They know what they’re doing. They don’t care about you. They just want your money.

      None of you are in this industry and you haven’t a fucking clue what you’re talking about. The end result here is negative press for Apple and an actually BETTER situation for them… we’re not as reluctant to publish to the iBookstore. And the iBookstore had 10% growth over the past 3 months, the first really solid growth in a while. Their terms are simply more friendly and when you’re in this business, you’ll understand just how important this is… because writers and publishers are getting hammered around like a ping pong by all the different platforms. They’re victims of each one of these asshole companies. But things have gotten better and it’s partly because of this. I don’t like Amazon and there’s lots to talk about with them, but believe it or not, the problems they pose to industry don’t revolve near as much around dumping prices, although it’s part of it.

  3. I was listening to the latest rendition of this story on the news yesterday. Again I thought to myself:

    ‘So the DOJ wants to outlaw market competition. They don’t want competing vendors to be able to set higher or lower prices as they see fit and let the free market do its magic. Instead they only want vendors who sell at the lowest prices to control a market. So in other words, capitalism is dead, the free market is dead, and its illegal to compete.’

    IOW: Nice asshat DOJ.

    And no, you don’t have to be a ‘Republican’ to appreciate the stupidity.

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