U.S. DOJ prosecutors accuse Apple of driving up e-book prices

“Apple Inc. was the conduit for five major publishers that sought to drive up the price of electronic books as the technology company entered the market in 2010, a Justice Department lawyer told a federal court on Monday,” Joe Palazzolo reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Opening what is expected to be a three-week civil antitrust trial in Manhattan, the Justice Department argued that Apple rallied the publishers around a pricing model that resolved a threat to their already thin margins: Amazon.com Inc.’s $9.99 price for best-selling and newly released e-books. The publishers used the agreements they struck with Apple to renegotiate similar ones with Amazon, threatening to withhold new releases unless Amazon went along, according to the Justice Department.”

Palazzolo reports, “Apple’s lawyer, Orin Snyder, said the company approached the publishers in the same way it had with major recording labels years earlier, with iTunes and the iPod—by negotiating aggressively and shaking up the industry in the process. ‘Let me be clear, Apple is going to trial because Apple did nothing wrong,’ Mr. Snyder said.

“The trial centers on Apple’s adoption of a so-called agency model in which publishers set e-book prices and retailers are paid by commission. Apple’s contracts capped e-book prices at $12.99 or $14.99, depending on the hardcover price,” Palazzolo reports. “In the wholesale configuration used by Amazon, retailers set the price of digital as well as physical books. Amazon held 90% of the market in 2009, a time in the industry Mr. Snyder described as lacking innovation and competition. After Apple’s entry into the market, e-book sales increased, prices overall dipped and e-readers and tablets improved dramatically, said Mr. Snyder. ‘Every single indicator of market health improved after Apple entered the market,’ Mr. Snyder said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The U.S. DOJ’s attempt to kill real competition for the appearance of competition is just plain stupid.

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57 Comments

  1. Actually, average selling price of ebooks after Apple entered the marked fell (not by much, but still).

    So DOJ uses high point $14.99 price for PR, trying to manipulate the media and thus pressing the judge.

    In the end we have one of the most ridiculous “anti-trust” cases ever, where DOJ protects monopoly (Amazon) from competitor (Apple) which entered the market and made prices lower.

    Seriously I can not see another reason for this other than Apple spending like ten times less money on lobbying than Amazon. (Apple became spending more lately, but still way less than competitors.)

    1. Do you know why eBook pricing fell?

      Because over the past 2.5 years, the market has become saturated and competition has driven the price down. That’s why it’s less.

      And why it’s less on Apple’s iBookstore specifically has nothing to do with this other than Apple’s price fixing plan being erased. That’s why it’s now cheaper on Apple’s iBookstore.

      1. “Price fixing plan” claim of DOJ also sounds ridiculous, since Apple could not care less about fixing prices; in fact, they cared for prices to become unfixed, free of $9.99 Amazon dictate. Some prices became higher, others became lower, but the was decline of ASP overall.

        Whether five publishers’ prices were synchronized in between themselves is issue that does not really has to do with Apple’s agenda. This is why the publishers settled — as price fixing was wrong — and Apple did not as they are not the party that sets the prices in an agency model; publishers do.

        1. DOJ’s argument that Apple “helped” to fix the prices is a weak-sauce. Apple just had no authority to do that. It is almost as if I would talking in a forum and writing “Hey, publishers, fix the prices between yourselves!” and I would be charged as co-conspirator if publishers would all of sudden to the price fixing.

          Remember Apple was trying to break Amazon’s monopoly. And even though publishers did not like Amazon’s dictate, Apple was not in position of power in the negotiations as they had no product or sales to use as leverage on publishers — all they got was a promise of a product in the future that could run their ebooks (plus, as I wrote, Apple could not care less whether those five publishers have the same prices between themselves or not). This aspect does DOJ claims double weak-sauce.

        2. You are a delusional idiot.

          There are documented conversations with Apple saying they are fixing prices at $12.99 and $14.99, as well as legal contracts forcing publishers to not be allowed to sell anywhere else for less money.

          The net result of this is an inflation of eBook prices industry wide.

          Again, Amazon does NOT set prices, the retailers do. Amazon does NOT disallow anyone from selling cheaper anywhere else.

          If Amazon chooses to lower prices, they lose money. Under $9.99 the publisher gets their % off the original retail price not the sale price. So lower prices on Amazon are perfectly legal using accepted retail sales strategies.

          Amazon did not fix anything, Apple did. Well, they tried, and they failed.

          So shut up and wake up.

          1. What Apple’s intent was that publishers would set their own prices and Apple would not get a price that was higher than publishers were selling to others. Amazon did indeed place a ceiling on what publishers could charge Amazon for their product. This was a lower price for sure and a big plus for selling their Kindle, but it was a case of Amazon leveraging their status as “300lb gorilla” for e-readers. Apple came along and told publishers “charge what you want and we’ll take our cut, but we want the best price you are giving to anyone else.” Might they have conversed about prices that the market would bear? Sure, why not? It’s normal business. I don’t think the DOJ has a case. Apple provided publishers another path and suggested they could profit by it. There is nothing illegal about that. And retailers and suppliers discussing marketable prices is not price fixing. I like the idea of 99¢ books, but I don’t think that is a sustainable model. Writers and publishers have a right to attempt to earn as much as possible from their work. They price it beyond its value to the consumer and they get zilch. Apple’s primary concern was that publishers did not sell to Amazon at half the price they gave to Apple.

          2. ‘most favoured nation’ clauses (i.e you can’t sell anywhere else cheaper) is not automatically illegal and does not always constitute price fixing. Most favoured nation clauses are used in many industries including the health care industry etc.

            Price fixing is broader and implies you have ‘power’ (like in monopoly to control a market). with amazon having 90% of the ebook market apple really wasn’t in the price fixing category.

            the DOJ has to prove apple had power and it was generally bad for the consumer. Apple is arguing it wasn’t.

            apple doesn’t stop anybody from selling cheaper. Shoot you can sell your book on apple for ‘free’.

            1. also

              “Amazon did not fix anything, Apple did. Well, they tried, and they failed.”

              eh?

              amazon threatened book sellers who wanted a better deal like apple’s agency model . Amazon even removed the ‘buy’ button from publishers who rebelled. and they control most the ebook and print book retailing in the uSA.

              that’s fair?

            2. Amazon threatened nothing. It’s all speculation that Amazon “COULD” control the eBook market.

              Like you fucking complain about Apple having most of the marketshare in the tablet space. Or the MP3 space. Should the government go after Apple for a competitive strategy that’s working?

              It’s your delusional that clouds your judgement. Amazon simply found a strategy to offer low cost deals on eBooks and get people in the door. It is Amazon that loses money when stuff is heavily discounted. Apple could have done the same. let me say it again.

              Apple could have done the exact same thing and priced low. The same strategy “loss leaders” that retailers in several markets use all of the time.

              But Apple didn’t want to follow that strategy because they want to make zillions of dollars in profits on everything.

              So what did they do? They fixed and inflated the prices, colluding with the entire industry and leading them into it.

              People keep saying Apple sucks at services and this kind of thing. The reason is because of the barriers to entry and competitive landscape being low hanging fruit when it comes to profit margins. From the Pandoras to the Netflixes… Apple is finding itself in el cheapo land and it’s hard to compete.

              Amazon simply threw up KDP and moved over to self-publishers (agency model). This agency model trickled over to the big publishers and they didn’t like it. Apple didn’t and still doesn’t seem to like it either.

            3. saying that people are ‘delusional’ when YOU don’t have your facts together… like
              over and over again in your many posts you stated that apple asking publishers not to sell their books less than their price at apple is ‘price fixing’ , I just pointed out legally it’s not. Your MAJOR PREMISE of apple’s guilt is wrong. Most favoured nation clauses are used by many companies in many industries.

              and you say:
              “Like you fucking complain about Apple having most of the marketshare in the tablet space.” etc

              where did I ‘fucking complain … ‘ anywhere in my post?
              can YOU CUT And PASTE where I said that?

              losing it huh sigh

            4. floom:

              Apple COLLUDED with the largest publishers in the world to fix prices across the entire industry. That’s why it’s price fixing you delusional twit. They didn’t just deal with each company/publisher separately. They colluded.

              If you’re confused about collusion, it’s when entities cooperate… get together… competitors get together, and expose themselves to one another in such a way as to effect some change in an industry that they think is in their own self-interest… but what they do to effect the change is illegal.

              In this case, Apple acted as the ring leader in this price fixing and price inflation collusion according to Penguin CEO testimony along with a pile of evidence that exists. That Apple acted to ensure that all of the publishers would play along with the price fixing to drive prices up and break Amazon’s grip on low prices.

              So that Walt Isaacson Steve Jobs bio and many other worldly titles by popular authors would be 30%+ higher EVERYWHERE THEY’RE SOLD. NO CHOICE. NO COMPETITION.

              Do you fucking understand the widespread, negative impact this would have had on consumers?

              Fuck Apple. I love their products and use them everyday but I don’t worship them. Stop being delusional. Apple needs to be accountable for their actions.

              If this were Google or MS or Amazon in court every one of you would be screaming bloody murder. All of you. You’re all so full of garbage.

            5. “Apple COLLUDED with the largest publishers in the world to fix prices across the entire industry. ”

              that needs to be proven. apple denies it.

              and i’ve shown your arguments and ideas are full of HOLES like:
              over and over again over the weeks you said apple asking publishers not to sell cheaper elsewhere is ‘price fixing’ l pointed out legally its not and ‘most favoured nation status) is commonly used by many companies.

              so your BASIC PREMISE and most of your arguments which you have been touting are plain wrong and just shows your ignorance. I POINTED it OUT and made you look like a FOOL and then you start calling names like ‘twit’…

              get lost you fucking clueless ass wipe sink scrotum dirt…
              (see your calling names isn’t hard to do either)
              lol.

            6. floom:

              All you’ve done is made yourself look like what you truly are: an idiot.

              There are no holes.

              There is no twisting anything.

              There is no escaping logic and facts, and I will relentlessly bust your delusional fanboy asses at every turn.

              Fact: Apple colluded with the world’s largest publishers to fix and inflate eBook prices worldwide. COLLUDED. The evidence is without question.

              Whether Apple is found guilty is still a question, and nobody knows what the court will find until it’s over. What we do know is that the publishers have all paid their fines so they’ve essentially already admitted to guilt.

              The CEO of Penguin just named Apple as the ring leader in the collusion. Steve Jobs said publicly that Amazon’s prices would be the same as Apple’s iBookstore. And on and on and on.

              There is no escape. This is collusion of the highest order.

              To fanboys: The delusion blocks facts.

              You made yourself look like an idiot by collapsing your whole position and now you’re pissed. You said that if someone doesn’t like iBookstore pricing they can buy it somewhere else… at the competition. But they wouldn’t have been able to because of Apple’s price fixing. It would have been impossible for any publisher with an eBook listed on the iBookstore to have sold it for less anywhere else. You got the idiot of the day award and you should be proud.

              Who’s next?

            7. sfgh

              you say “There is no escaping logic and facts, and I will relentlessly bust your delusional fanboy asses at every turn.”

              ???? logic? facts?
              LOL.
              ONE MORE TIME:

              I already busted your ‘fact’ your basic argument which you have used over and over again over the last weeks which is apple asking publishers not to sell cheaper elsewhere is ‘price fixing
              . but like I said ‘most favoured nation’ is commonly used in business in many industries and does not necessarily constitute ‘price fixing’ legally. AND its still to be proven whether apple even did that (asking them not to sell cheaper elsewhere)

              calling people names, losing your cool when you are shown wrong (and not having the balls to admit it you got the definition of ‘price fixing’ wrong)…
              lol you are pathetic…

              so one more time I’ve already SHOWN THAT YOU ARE A FOOL ( a guy who can’t even get basic legal facts straight) so go away…

              and like I said you started calling names, I can do it to, it’s EASY… you Stupid Fuking Garbage Head (S F G H)

            8. floom zoom bloom:

              You have shown nothing. Your twisted logic and failure to grasp the concepts of the case make you an idiot.

              COLLUSION in order to fix and inflate prices. It’s illegal.

              Keep it coming, I will not stop.

          3. You are the delusional one. Amazon was selling 90% of all ebooks at the time. That is the real crime. They were only having this market by pricing all their books for less than they paid publishers for them. In effect, thier entire business was to bancrupt anyone else trying to sell ebooks. They bought books for 12.99 and sold them for 9.99. Nobody on earth can fairly compete against that.

            Apple simply said, stop letting amazon sell ebooks for a loss and killing competition. Sell your book for a fair price that isn’t a loss. We don’t think anything higher than 12-$14 will work.

            Publishers were actually being bribed by amazon before. If amazon paid publishers based on the price they sold the books at, instead of funneling endless investor cash in, then no publisher would have given amazon books to sell. That’s a fact.

            amazon had to bribe publishers. apple just asked publishers to face the reality that the book isn’t really making $12.99. Publishers were accepting less per book from apple, instead getting just 9.99 per book if it sold at $12.99.
            The difference was an honest business model.

  2. “MacDailyNews Take: The U.S. DOJ’s attempt to kill real competition for the appearance of competition is just plain stupid.”

    You’re fucking delusional too MDN. Apple’s way was to inflate the price of eBooks across the entire industry by 30%. You guys are such fanboys you are just waiting to be raped by Apple to suck your money from you.

    There are many people/companies making good money from eBooks at the lower price points. Consumers can now finally breathe easy that prices have gone down on Apple’s iBookstore, where they were supposed to be 30% higher than Amazon.

    The problem is the publishers. They need to suck up charging less for eBooks which they’ve resisted but now it’s gotten better. You guys bitch and moan but at the end of the day, you’re the same idiots making comments on user forums complaining that eBook prices are too high and should be less than print and just generally really cheap.

    The hypocrisy and inconsistency on here is beyond. It’s stupid and irrational how you all defend Apple so much.

    1. Remember when all the tunes on Amazon were both cheaper and at a higher bit rate than what Apple could have from The Labels? Amazon had a huge advantage, driving The Labels profits down.

      Remember when the DOJ intervened and prosecuted Amazon?

      Me either.

      One of these days you’ll see the light. Walk toward it, please.

    2. sfgh

      why the fuk don’t you go to some Amazon lovers forum ?

      I’ve read so many of your stupid posts where every time anybody has anything positive to say about apple or disagrees with you you call him/her ‘fanboy’.

      don’t like apple or apple users go the fuk somewhere else…
      this IS an apple fan site.

    3. You’re either young, fucking retarded or both. I’m gonna go with both. The problem you and the DOJ are both going to have is proving whether Apple had enough ebook market share to affect prices across the board. Even with Apple’s current share of the ebook market, the answer is a resounding NO. There are just too many ebook options out there. Apple doesn’t want to dance the Potomac two-step and is getting pounded for it. It’s a simple shake down – Chicago style. Department of Justice? What a joke. More like Department of Jerkoffs. You’d fit right in.

        1. And the foundation of any collusion argument is that consumers didn’t have a choice. Hell, at the time Apple met with publishers to establish pricing, Apple didn’t even have a freaking market. How could they affect the price of a market they weren’t even in? Hell, nobody even knew if iBooks would take off. Although it’s done well, the argument could be made that iBooks hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. People still have other choices.

        2. At the time of the iBook negotiations, Amazon was a defacto monopoly for commercial e-books. They were using their position to force publishers into a “one size fits all” pricing scheme where Amazon wasn’t paying them any more for a best selling author than for a no-name newbie. Apple offered a model AND a viable channel to break that price freeze. Apple’s pricing model is used by many industries, including mine, and there is nothing illegal about it, AND pricing remains competitive. Publishers, and any supplier, has the right to set prices to their advantage. They price the too high, the product doesn’t sell. You say publishers need to “suck up charging less for eBooks”. They are, but you seem to fail to realize that while e-book reader shouldn’t have to bear the cost of non-existent printing, that is only part of a books cost. You think the author wants less because the book is distributed digitally? You think advertising and promotions are all of sudden gone? The Publisher NEVER wanted to price the e-books as low as they were with Amazon. Amazon gave them no choice because they wanted Kindle to saturate the market and they had the clout to pressure the publishers. Amazon is the true price fixer. Just because it’s for a lower price that serves THEIR purpose doesn’t make less unsavory. Amazon didn’t do it for you or other consumers. They did it to conquer the e-book and e-book reader market.

          1. billyjackblack and Spark:

            First, Amazon was big in eBooks because nobody else was really doing it. The Kindle changed everything. Amazon and Sony were first. Now Apple comes into the market marching all arrogantly years later and expects to just walk in and own it?

            Apple did NOT offer a model to break the price freeze. Apple offered to FIX EBOOK PRICES AT $12.99 AND $14.99 BY FORCING THE LARGEST PUBLISHERS IN THE WORLD TO NOT BE ABLE TO SELL ANY CHEAPER, ANYWHERE ELSE, IF THEY SIGNED WITH THEM. This is why it’s fucking price fixing and yet none of you idiots admit it.

            Amazon follows a tried and tested retail practice of deep discounts to get people in the door. It was only a matter of time before more eBook retailers came on the scene and those retailers have to craft their own strategy to compete against Apple.

            But price inflation and price fixing is just wrong and illegal.

            If Apple had just put these terms in its contract and not colluded with the industry on it, it wouldn’t be as bad. But they colluded with industry to fix and inflate eBook prices. 30%+ price inflation and fixed prices at $12.99 and $14.99.

            From today’s testimony:

            “DOJ attorneys showed scores of emails and quoted from witness testimony to try and illustrate how Apple helped the publishers share confidential pricing information with each other so they could act in unison. Each needed reassurance from Apple that they wouldn’t be acting alone, the DOJ says. According to documents filed with the court, Penguin CEO David Shanks acknowledged that Apple was the publishers’ “facilitator and go-between.”

            And:

            “The DOJ cited a statement Jobs made shortly after unveiling the iPad, in which he knew Apple’s ebook prices, $12.99 and $14.99, would not be higher than Amazon’s. When reporters noted that Amazon sold many ebooks for $9.99, Jobs said the prices would be the same. Carolyn Reidy, CEO of Simon and Schuster was aghast, according to DOJ lawyers. They showed an email that Reidy sent to an exec at her company that read “I can’t believe Jobs made the statement … Incredibly stupid.” The government suggested that the publisher was critical because Jobs was exposing their conspiracy.”

            And there’s lots more of this shit too.

            It’s called price fixing and it’s done through collusion. And it’s illegal. Amazon has done nothing illegal.

            1. YOU ARE A DUMBSHIT! You’re telling me that all these publishers that signed up with Apple were all cowering idiots and agreed to across the board prices to appease a company with ZERO market share? If you knew anything about antitrust, you would be able to see Amazon as the true villain in all this. By capping prices at $9.99, they were essentially price dumping, the same old shit they’re doing with their Kindle Fires. They’re establishing market share to monopolize so that they can later raise prices on a market they owned. But a funny thing happened on the way. Apple came in and gave publishers an opportunity to sell their goods at a FAIR price. If people didn’t like Apple’s prices, they could continue to get their ebooks elsewhere. Companies price fix when there’s inelastic demand. They set their prices too high and they risk customers rushing to competitors. Amazon raped publishers for years because of inelastic supply. They had low prices because publishers had no choice, no other outlets to sell their goods. Apple gave publishers a choice and Amazon went crying to the DOJ because Apple ruined their plans of world domination. I don’t expect you to understand any of this. Shit, if supposed law school grads at the DOJ can’t grasp this, how can I expect someone still living with their mom to understand.

            2. Ok billyjackblack:

              Are you ready? Another day busting idiot fanboys.

              You clearly have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about.

              1. Four of the worlds largest publishers did sign up with Apple taking a risk that it would work out. They all colluded together, that’s why they did it you idiot. The evidence today showed that Apple was the ring master and acted as the go between for publishers. Two publishers didn’t: Random and HarperCollins.

              Email evidence (HarperCollins to Steve Jobs in reply to Steve trying to get them to sign the price fixing and price inflating contract):

              “we are worried about setting prices to high…”

              “If we can’t agree on the fair price of a book, your team’s proposal restricts us from making that book available elsewhere, even at a higher price. This is just a bridge too far for us.”

              “we, and our partners who produce, write, edit, and otherwise, make all this with us, have views on fair pricing, and care a lot about our future flexibility.”

              “I think the crux of this is our flexiblity to offer product elsewhere at price-points you don’t like.”

              “I think we are worried more about the absolute holdback of product elsewhere, and our ceding of pricing to Apple, than we are about the actual haggle over what the price will be.”

              ——————

              2. “…be able to see Amazon as the true villain in all this. By capping prices at $9.99 BLAH BLAH BULLSHIT”

              AMAZON DOESN’T FIX ANY PRICES. NEVER HAS. THEY DON’T CAP PRICES. PUBLISHERS SET THE PRICE AND AMAZON CAN SELL FOR LESS THAN THE SET PRICE. AMAZON CAN LOSE MONEY IF THE BOOK IS $9.99 OR UNDER AND THEY PUT IT ON SALE. AMAZON NEVER FIXED ANY PRICE AT $9.99, IT’S JUST A FUCKING NUMBER THAT IS THE MOST POPULAR PRICE ON THE STORE. IT IS NOT A FIXED PRICE. IT IS NOT A FIXED PRICE, YOU GOT THAT HONKY TONK?

              3. Here’s why you’re the dumbest idiot on here today. You just collapse your whole position with this:

              “If people didn’t like Apple’s prices, they could continue to get their ebooks elsewhere. They set their prices too high and they risk customers rushing to competitors.”

              This is precisely what the DOJ is protecting the consumer against. If people didn’t like Apple’s prices for say, a newly released Stephen King eBook, they COULDN’T rush to competitors to get the fucking eBook cheaper you fucking moron. Because Apple colluded to block any large publisher from selling for cheaper any. fucking. where. else. You got that? Anywhere else. Anywhere… else.

              It must be the same price as it is on the iBookstore.

              Nobody gives a fuck about Amazon. There’s Barnes & Noble. Kobo. Sony. Google Play. And a bunch more eBookstores. These popular, worldly novels, etc. would never be allowed to be sold ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE FUCKING WORLD FOR LESS THAN WHAT THEY ARE SOLD FOR ON THE IBOOKSTORE. So consumers will NOT be able to shop the competition for a cheaper price. Hence price fixing, price inflation, and anti-competitive behaviour.

              You fucking moron.

            3. You are the dumbfuck. You troll new sites to cut and paste your arguments and don’t think about one thing you’re saying. Apple didn’t force anybody to do anything DUMBASS! How could they? They had no leverage. The iBookstore created another avenue for publishers to set market prices not the price dumping prices set by Amazon. DUMBSHIT!

            4. sfgh…. What you don’t understand is the typical retail model Amazon and other were using. The “suggested retail price” that the publishers set is not what they were paid. In the traditional retail model that Amazon was using, the channel (Amazon) sets the prices and the price or “cut” the publisher gets , the channel, not the publisher also gets to charge any fee or structure they want back to the publisher. If the publisher wants access to that channel they have to abide by the deal. And the deals were NOT consistent . Hell in most of the deals the publisher was on the hook for expenses if the title or product did not sell or meet certain thresholds.

              You explain to all of us how that the of deal would,work for you if you were forced to follow it just to sell your product.

              Now here is a simple deal, you set the price, pay the channel a fixed amount, no fees or quotas. Just don’t undercut the channel by selling less to another. Make them all,equal. And if you want to lower the price do it fairly across the board.

              If you find anything different in the actual contracts that were signed then post it here… The contracts are what matters.

              If it were your product or book which deal would you want…. What would keep you incentivized to keep producing more for people to read?

              I have sold to these channels, both retail and wholesale and your arguments don’t make any sense when held up to how they actually work…. Do you work in this industry? Have you sold and negotiated these deals? Without firsthand knowledge or documented proof in the form of contracts your statements ring hollow. I understand if you cannot provide a copy n paste of any contracts you have signed as all I have put my name to have non disclosure agreements on the specifics… But hey you look like a resourceful guy…. Go find some proof on Amazons contracts at that time and we will all listen.

            5. billyjackblack:

              Apple COLLUDED with the world’s largest publishers to inflate and fix prices for the whole industry. Apple AND the publishers are to blame. The publishers have already paid their fines. Now it’s Apple’s turn.

              It’s not forcing anyone, it’s called COLLUSION.
              It’s not forcing anyone, it’s called COLLUSION.
              It’s not forcing anyone, it’s called COLLUSION.
              It’s not forcing anyone, it’s called COLLUSION.
              It’s not forcing anyone, it’s called COLLUSION.

              What Apple forced on the publishers was that they couldn’t sell for less ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD THAN WHAT IT WAS LISTED FOR ON IBOOKSTORE.

              Shut up.

            6. Boy, you really are looking at this backwards:
              It is NOT that Apple is trying to “Force publishers NOT to be able sell it lower anywhere else”.

              The publishers can sell as low as they want. It is that IF they want to offer Amazon a lower price (because Amazon forces them into that mould or whatever), then they need to offer that lower price to Apple AS WELL, so that Apple is not at a disadvantage.

              Get a life.

    4. @ sfgh “It’s stupid and irrational how you all defend Apple so much.”

      And it is profoundly stupid and deranged how you keep coming back – and back – and back — to, swear, call people names and insult them.

      After a couple of posts where you didn’t use a single swear word and didn’t call anyone names, I really thought you had decided to get a grip and contribute in a positive manner. Oh well — disappointing.

      re
      “Another day busting idiot fanboys.”

      Many people have told you they do not appreciate how you conduct yourself. You must REALLY have some kind of severe psychiatric problem to keep repeating that negative and unwanted behavior. They should put your photo in the dictionary to illustrate the phrase “pissing in the wind”.

      Don’t you have anything better to do with your life? I guess not.

      1. Seamus:

        I appreciate your feedback. The only way it seems to get across to people in a delusional state of being is to literally smash them in the face with a bag of bricks. At least people notice the comments.

        My mission on here is to break the grip companies have on people. I want people to live better lives. I want them to stop worshipping brands because brands just want to suck your money and make you spend on wasteful bullshit. I want people around me to be more aware because I think we can advance ourselves faster and all have better lives. I’m sick of people blaming other people and waiting for others to solve problems.

        I want people to shut up and do something.

        1. SFGH
          anybody who disagrees with you is ‘delusional’ according to you.

          anybody who points out the massive errors in your logic is a ‘twit’ etc.

          dude if you want to call names get a mirror first, look and then call “twit, delusional, idiot etc”.

          1. No. Anybody who makes a legitimate point based on facts and I listen. You people are fanboys and defend Apple through irrational thinking because you worship the business and you refuse to believe and accept anything negative about them. Anything. And if the facts are there, you distract the issue by pointing fingers at other companies that you perceive to be doing wrong, which is just immature and stupid.

        2. I understand. And I appreciate the tone of your reply to me. But I say again that the tone of many of your posts will only put people off.

          For example, Jim under the e-book case posting…
          “I only read your posts that appear to have meat in them. If you’d lose the holier-than-thou attitude you might actually achieve your objective of bringing a little balance.”

          and notice your 1.5 score v Derek Currie’s 4.5.

          sfgh
          Let’s face it. Steve Jobs got caught red handed. There’s no collusion confusion here. Btw, you fanboys bore me with your blind devotion.
          21 Votes *SCORE 1.5*

          Derek Currie
          sfgh, our latest anonymous coward pet troll. Cute little idiot, isn’t he? Coochie coo!
          16 Votes *SCORE 4.5*

          There’s no way that most people are being positively influenced by material they are voting as “Very Poor”.

          One last point — Why would smashing sheep in the face with a bag of bricks over issues like this work, when the sheep let corporations kill them and their children? In other words, ENORMOUSLY more serious matters. Why weren’t there riots in every city in the US when the scum came out and finally admitted that they knew all along that their cigarettes were addictive and were killing huge numbers of people? Why weren’t the whole bunch of them charged with conspiracy to commit mass murder? Why do so many sheep still use death sticks?

          The bleating sheep are thoroughly brainwashed into being serfs and being screwed however those in charge want to do the screwing.

          But saying to someone, “You’re a fucking idiot” NEVER works, even if it’s completely true — because the immediate and hugely powerful reaction is to defend the current sense of identity. NO-ONE is going to react by saying, “Wow! You’re right! I’m a fucking idiot and a fucking sheep and I’m cooperating with x, y and z corporations in poisoning my own children’s water and food.”
          Can you even begin to imagine the emotional barrier to admitting you’ve been cooperating in the poisoning of your own children?

          The only route is to talk about what people want and show them how to get it — a positive route.

          1. Seamus:

            First, I don’t care what scores people get. This is obviously fanboy central so scores mean nothing because it’s not objective.

            Second, you realize that anyone can post with your name or others. For example:

            “sfgh
            Let’s face it. Steve Jobs got caught red handed. There’s no collusion confusion here. Btw, you fanboys bore me with your blind devotion.
            21 Votes *SCORE 1.5*”

            I never wrote the above post as well as a few other idiotic ones lacking facts. Somebody else did.

    5. When amazon simply makes a slimmer profit than apple, you’ll have a point. Right now, you’re full of shit.

      Amazon doesn’t honestly charge a smaller markup on ebooks. They bribe publishers with the full $12.99, then demolish any other competiton by selling that same book for $9.99. Nobody on earth but amazon is connected to a massive Wall Street teat that gives them an endless warchest to undercut and destroy any honest competitor.

      Anyone else would be buying the book for $12.99 and have to add a profit margin bringing the price even higher.

      Amazon is pure evil. Defending that just makes you an idiot. Amazon had 90% of the ebook market before apple. When amazon finally had 100%, they would have jacked prices sky high.

      Predatory pricing is illegal. The doj should have gotten off their ass and done something about amazon then.

      1. Lovemyiphone:

        I agree with you that Amazon ‘may’ engage in predatory pricing, but at the same time they sell so many things on their site that the ratio of stuff dumped in price to the other stuff not I think is pretty low. And it’s incredibly hard to prove the motive behind price dumping. In fact, it’s not clear this is Amazon’s motive because it’s speculative that they would raise prices later on. In fact, they had such a large share of the eBook market that they could have raised prices, but as far as I know they continued using loss leaders, and not just for eBooks. For these reasons I think that’s why it’s not something Amazon has been charged with or will be charged with.

        Anyway, you people keep focusing on Amazon which is kinda at this point bullshit. Forget Amazon. This is about Apple. No distracting the issue. Regardless of what any other company is doing, Apple colluded with the largest publishers in the world to inflate and fix eBook prices industry wide.

  3. THis is just another sad attempt by a Socialist government to shakedown a successful company that never kow-towed to pressure to “lobby” (bribe) government officials and “donate” to their campaign chests.

    First the President, then Congress, now the Judicial arm of the government strong-arming successful business.

  4. Somewhere above it is stated that:

    — “Amazon does NOT set prices, the retailers do.”

    — “If Amazon chooses to lower prices…”

    Well, which one is it? Does Amazon NOT set prices? Or do they lower prices? Both cannot be true.

    1. Tom:

      For the last damn time, Amazon DOES NOT SET THE PRICE, THE PUBLISHER DOES. AMAZON CAN SELL IT FOR LESS BUT THE PUBLISHER WILL GET ITS PERCENTAGE PAYOUT ON THE ORIGINAL PRICE THE PUBLISHER SETS.

      Example:

      Publisher sets eBook price at $10.99.
      Amazon puts it on sale for $9.99.
      Publisher receives percentage payout on $10.99, not $9.99. The lower Amazon sells, the less money Amazon makes to the point where they could lose money.

      1. I should add that the example I used is just a hypothetical.

        In order for the publisher to receive their cut on the price they originally set, the book must be sold for $9.99 or less. Higher than that and it’s a bit more complex.

  5. Let’s be clear. In your example, Amazon DID set the selling price to the customer at $9.99. Yet you insist Amazon does not set the price! If publishers set the selling price to consumers, then Amazon would sell publishers’ e-books at $10.99 in your hypothetical example.

    Either you do not understand the meaning of the words you are using, or you do not comprehend what you are trying to describe. Makes it rather difficult to have a meaningful exchange.

    1. Tom:

      I’m in digital fucking publishing you idiot and I’m trying to help you guys understand what’s happening here.

      I had a meeting with Amazon two weeks ago for example. I know the rules and contracts inside out because we have agreements with all of them.

      Let me take this real slow. The publisher sets the price of the eBook. Doubledown Publishers sets the price of a new release eBook at $9.99. Ok, take a breath. Now, Amazon comes along and says, we feel like putting your book on sale. Next thing you know, it’s listed for $8.99. So the publisher set the original retail price of $9.99, and Amazon put it on sale for $1 cheaper ($8.99). The publisher gets 65-70% (depending on their agreement with Amazon) of the ORIGINAL price ($9.99), NOT the sale price. So Amazon loses by cutting into its own take. If they price it low past a certain point, they’ll lose money.

      So there’s the original retail price set by the publisher, and then there’s the sale price set by Amazon. As you can see, they have the right to do this and it’s a perfectly acceptable strategy. They can dump the retail price by say $1 and STILL MAKE MONEY. All they do is cut into their own profits.

      Apple wanted nothing to do with low margins and sales. So they worked to fix and inflate prices. That shirt you bought on sale on a blowout at a men’s clothing store… go take it back you fucking hypocrite, because the retailer just did exactly what Amazon does. They threw it on sale and THEY lost on the profit margin, not the person who sold it to them. They got their set take.

      What none of you people understand is the agency model spawned out of SELF-PUBLISHING. Amazon pioneered it with KDP 5 years ago, and it’s all trickled over to large publishers and all hell broke loose. But it’s the preferred model now.

      I don’t really like Amazon but they’ve done nothing wrong. Apple on the other hand can go fuck themselves for trying to jack up prices. Imagine if people in clothing colluded and that shirt you got at 50%… it’d never happen because the industry got together and said it can’t be sold for less than a predetermined inflated price.

      You people just have no clue how all this happened, how it works, and how bad it would have been for all consumers if Apple was allowed to stick with the fixed and inflated prices of eBooks.

  6. 1. These ebook-sellers have new set up their own websites and name their own prices.

    2. I wish that stupid “win an iPad 3 for free” ad would stop popping up out of nowhere, with no way to get out of it except clicking OK. It kills my iPad 4—not a happy chappy.

  7. “Justice Department argued that Apple rallied the publishers around a pricing model that resolved a threat to their already thin margins: Amazon.com Inc.’s $9.99”

    Yea, and only because of that Apple should be allowed to continue. Amazon is destroying an entire industry.

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