Is Steve Jobs’ unsent email a smoking gun in Apple e-book case?

“Since it was first accused of conspiring to raise the prices of e-books, Apple has maintained it didn’t care what sort of deals publishers arranged with other retailers, as long as they honored the terms of their agreement to sell books on its iTunes store,” John Paczkowski reports for AllThingsD.

“But a new document entered into evidence Wednesday by the DOJ suggests that Apple may not have been quite as indifferent to publishers’ deals with Amazon as it professes to be,” Paczkowski reports. “It’s a Jan. 14, 2010, message from Steve Jobs to Eddy Cue, his point man for e-book negotiations, and in it he says he wants publishers to push Amazon to an agency pricing model where publishers, not retailers, set prices. ‘I can live with this as long as they move Amazon to the agent model too for new releases for the first year,’ Jobs wrote. ‘If not, I’m not sure we can be competitive…'”

Paczkowski reports, “Apple hasn’t yet had a chance to explain the message, which Snyder claims was never sent. But it promises to do so tomorrow when Eddy Cue takes the stand.”

Read more in the full article here.

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30 Comments

  1. How ridiculous!
    ‘I can live with this as long as they move Amazon to the agent model too for new releases for the first year,’…..

    All this is saying is that SJ is hoping the publishers (as a result of their INDEPENDENT negotiations with Apple) will push amazon to also use agency model. As a way of consistency. It is NOT saying that Apple will twist the publishers arms until they force Amazon into the agency model.

    The following sentence backs this “HOPE” interpretation of mine up.

    ‘If not, I’m not sure we can be competitive…’”

    It starts with “IF not….”. Meaning that the publishers are FREE to do otherwise. All he is saying is that if the publishers decide not to do this, then Apple will be uncompetitive. Merely stating a fact.

    Apple is not in any way forcing publishers to do anything.

    1. Impressive Paul! I high recommend you contact Apple immediately to offer your lawyer services. With you defending apple I have complete confidence the DOJ
      case against apple will be obliterated.

  2. The unsent email actually confirms Apple was not involved in price fixing. What it shows is that Apple was very concerned that it could not compete in the ebook market unless Amazon went to an agency model WHERE THE PUBLISHERS SET THE PRICES.

    IOW, if publishers continued allowing Amazon to set prices, no one could compete with them. So this email is really just confirming that Amazon was the real monopolist, and that Apple disrupted the lack of competition in the ebook industry.

  3. All of you fucking morons. Listen up.

    You realize that Apple had already courted, discussed, and engaged in agreements with these publishers BEFORE Jobs sent this.

    In other words, Apple/Jobs sucked these publishers into a draconian contract that fixed prices of new releases and bestsellers at $12.99 and $14.99 and THEN pushed the publishers to move Amazon to an agency model.

    This way, Apple had already locked the publishers into this fixed, inflated pricing and Amazon moving over to the agency model would… wait for it… force the publishers and Amazon to sell on Amazon for exactly $12.99 and $14.99. Why the fuck do you think Amazon might have been pissed? Of course they knew this is what was happening. But they weren’t about to take Apple to court over it.

    It’s called escalated contracting… you move people bit by bit into where you want them. This is what Apple/Jobs did.

    What was Jobs’ leverage if the publishers didn’t want to move Amazon to an agency model or if they couldn’t do it? He’d potentially pull out of the eBook game and just not bother… but the publishers didn’t want that and neither did Apple.

    Sorry but Apple’s a fucking snake on this.

    1. You’re talking as if paying more for books is a bad thing, surely the most deserving beneficiaries of higher prices were the publishers themselves – not Apple.
      I ask you this, seeing as you seem to be business savvy; if you were CEO of Apple, selling the exact same product as another company, yet it is selling it at a huge discount – would you not try to level the playing field? It’s business.

    2. sfgh says (mistakenly):
      “…Apple/Jobs sucked these publishers into a draconian contract that fixed prices of new releases and bestsellers at $12.99 and $14.99…”

      You, like many others critical of this deal, seem to only grasp the anti-Apple headlines and have no real understanding of it. Apple did NOT set any fixed prices. The deal sets an UPPER LIMIT on book prices. Not that you will understand the difference but hopefully others reading your comment for the first time will look a little deeper at some of the article titles floating around.

      1. facts! facts! facts!
        all you fanboys care about stupid facts and legalities..

        I’ve going to repeat
        “$12.99 and $14.99…”
        $12.99 and $14.99…”
        $12.99 and $14.99…”

        “na – na – na – na – na – na – na – na – na – na – na – na – na – na – na – na – na – na – na …

        until you fanboys admit defeat.
        legally factually apple has its rights, but apple is evil and deserves to die.

        apple is fuking snake and no amount of facts is going to change this.

        apple drove great american companies like Rim and HTC into the ground and deserves to die.

        screw fanboys quoting facts.
        fuk facts.

          1. I don’t need facts or logic
            i don’t need ‘understanding’ as you put it wings
            or even common sense to fight you all
            all I need is to repeat myself endlessly
            and I’ll wear you down fanboys

            I’ve posted multiple times today already today just like I’ve posted multiple times all through this great DOJ trial and I’ll keep at it
            you guys need to do research and get facts
            me , all I need to do is repeat
            ““$12.99 and $14.99…”
            $12.99 and $14.99…”
            $12.99 and $14.99…
            fanboys, fanboys, fanboys
            apple is collusion
            and yell fuk, shit, twit… at you all
            and I’ll win”

            fuk facts. apple is bad regardless
            facts are for pansy fanboys

            1. Looks like you will wear yourself down in a few seconds. You’ll never wear me out with your pathetic crap.

              I could watch you swimming in the sewer like a dirty rat just for entertainment,

            2. sfgh,
              “I don’t need facts or logic——- why let facts get in the way.—
              i don’t need ‘understanding’ as you put it wings — why let understanding and knowledge get in the way—-
              or even common sense to fight you all—- who needs common sense ———
              all I need is to repeat myself endlessly
              and I’ll wear you down fanboys”

              Here, let me try…:-)
              childish samsung troll, living in Mom’s basement.
              childish samsung troll, living in Mom’s basement.
              childish samsung troll, living in Mom’s basement.
              childish samsung troll, living in Mom’s basement.
              childish samsung troll, living in Mom’s basement.

              Ok, does that work for you?
              Just a thought.

            3. An unsent email is meaningless. Are they going to introduce SJ’s doodles. Bet he had a doodle with Amazon with an arrow through its heart. or a target on it. How v horrifying. If I eye f**k someone is that rape or only lust? Thanks to Amazon thousands of Borders employees lost their jobs and B&N is closing stores.

            4. Hi, my name’s floom, and I posted as sfgh above that garbage. I’m an out of work loser with no skills.

              I also am the proud recipient of the sfgh idiot of the day award. This is what I said to get it:

              “If people don’t like Apple’s prices, they can buy it for cheaper somewhere else.”

              Keep it coming floom, I will relentlessly corner you on your bullshit childish crap.

          1. Hi Paul:

            You simpleton fanboy idiot.

            Apple COLLUDED with industry to fix and inflate eBook prices.

            1. Apple gathered together the world’s largest publishers and made sure that they were all on board with the new fixed, inflated pricing.
            2. After they all agreed to not undercut each other on the $12.99 and $14.99 prices, they then pushed Amazon to agency as Apple asked.
            3. Apple’s terms locked in prices where publishers couldn’t sell for less or more anywhere else.

            “Let’s make a go at creating a $12.99 and $14.99 eBook market.” Steve Jobs.

            1. whether you post as floom or Sfgh your posts are still filled with nonsense.

              i know you post as Floom as well Sfgh to support your Sfgh posts as nobody else will support your brainless rants.
              posting as two different people on the same topic shows you need medication.

        1. “Great American companies like Rim and HTC…” Hmmm, last time I checked RIM was a Canadian company and HTC Taiwanese. Just another Apple hater. Get a life.

    3. … foul-mouthed and mistaken rant?
      Good.
      Jobs DIDN’T “Send” it. Did you even read the HEADLINE? “UnSent”. That’s what the word means.
      As for Jobs’/Apple’s “leverage”, pulling out of the market is not much of a position. That is a position most businesses have with most products – we will buy it from someone else, or not buy it at all if we can’t sell it at a profit.

    4. “a draconian contract that fixed prices of new releases and bestsellers at $12.99 and $14.99 ”

      Bullshit.

      Apple didn’t fix any price at all. They never have, and they never will. Anyone selling an app, a book, or any in-app purchase through Apple’s online stores sets their own price, and Apple takes 30%.

  4. Apple has a more serious sin to be sued upon indeed. The ebook conspiracy is of little concern to us. I read from Walter Issacson that SJ wanted to wage a thermal nuclear war against android. And as far as market share is concerned, it’s more than two thirds of the total smartphone users. He wanted to kill two third of us… That’s unforgivable.

    DOJ. Help!

    1. Intellectual property has to be protected – SJ knew someone would probably emulate iOS, as you can see it made no difference as Android is alive and well.

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