Publishers object to U.S. restrictions on Apple in e-books case

“Five of the largest U.S. publishers objected to tough new restrictions sought by the U.S. government against Apple Inc for illegally conspiring to raise e-book prices,” Nate Raymond reports for Reuters.

“In a motion filed on Wednesday in U.S. district court in Manhattan, the publishers said a proposed final order in the case would effectively prevent Apple from entering agreements that limit its ability to discount books,” Raymond reports. “The publishers said provisions proposed by the U.S. Justice Department would instead punish the publishers, which had already reached settlements with the federal government and dozens of states, paying $166 million to benefit consumers.”

Raymond reports, “The motion came ahead of a Friday hearing on whether the court should adopt remedies proposed by the Justice Department and 33 U.S. states and territories after a ruling last month by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote that Apple conspired with the publishers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The DOJ’s bizarre movement to aid and abet e-book monopolist Amazon should be subject to Congressional investigation.

Cote’s flawed decision should be overturned on appeal.

Related articles:
E-Book case reminds Apple its biggest enemy isn’t Samsung or Google – August 3, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: DOJ seeks wide-ranging oversight of iTunes Store – August 2, 2013
Apple rejects U.S. DOJ’s proposed e-book penalties as ‘a draconian and punitive intrusion’ – August 2, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: DOJ wants to force Apple to revamp e-book practices – August 2, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: Cupertino could get smacked with $500 million bill in ebook case – July 25, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple verdict could end the book as we know it – July 11, 2013
U.S. DOJ unwittingly causes further consolidation, strengthens Amazon’s domination of ebook industry – July 11, 2013
Where’s the proof that Apple conspired with publishers on ebook pricing? – July 10, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple ruling could allow U.S. government to monitor, interfere with future Apple negotiations – July 10, 2013
Judge Denise Cote likely wrote most of her U.S.A. v. Apple ebooks case decision before the trial – July 10, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: NY judge rules Apple colluded to fix ebook prices, led illegal conspiracy, violated U.S. antitrust laws – July 10, 2013

18 Comments

  1. The publishers have no spine in the first place. Left Apple fighting alone.

    Apple! Help us find an insanely great solution to help individuals writers to publish their books…

    1. You have to remember, the publishers don’t have the deep pockets that Apple does. Fighting an losing could have decimated them.

      That being said, I’m glad someone had the resources and vigilance to fight the DoJ. Let’s hope the appellate court’s judge has more common sense than that moron Cote.

    2. They have no spine because the government is one of their biggest customers. It is a conflict of interest to have the government prosecute their vendor.

      People are not forced to buy e-books. So, the government should not be involved. If e-books cost to much, people will stop buying the e-books and just buy the old paper books. We have been doing that for a few centuries now.

  2. So, when they pay “$166 million to benefit consumers.” Just how did we “benefit”? Did we get a coupon? A free book? Or did the cost of doing business go up (like a new tax) and that cost will get passed on to the customer. Or did it come out of the shareholder’s 401K? Isn’t the government the beneficiary of the pillaging of these companies?

    1. You could not be more wrong. The business model Apple used is common place amongst many businesses. Apple uses a similar model for their App Store and music store. No one complained then. Why are they complaining now. This is bizarro world economics brought to us by a clueless DOJ.

      Or you are just a useless troll.

      1. OK, I’ll admit my initial post was needlessly inflammatory. But what Apple did was price fixing which is quite a bit different from how they handle their app store.

        This led to inflated prices for books and ensured that no one else could sell those books for less (e.g. amazon).

        I very much dislike any person or corporation that abuses their power to squeeze more money from regular people (especially those who can least afford it.). Remember this affected everybody, not just people with Apple devices.

        1. How about you actually do some research, and get some facts, before spouting rubbish.
          I
          I’m paying less for ebooks now, since the iBook Store came on line, as I have a choice, instead of one monopolising source, Amazon.
          And it means less pressure on the paper book retailers, who Amazon had been killing off in droves.

        2. Mark B.

          So let me get this straight. Are you saying that if you opened your own grocery store with your own money, time and investment, the government has the right to come in and tell you what you can charge customers for your products and services? The suppliers don’t really get to dictate the wholesale price or a volume price for your store if they sell X amount more then other vendors?

          OK, if that is so. Why the hell are they not going after Walmart or Amazon instead of Apple? I’m sorry but I find your logic flawed.

          No one is forcing the music industry, the book industry to sell their products on Apples Stores. Same goes with the cell phone vendors. No one is forcing them to sell iPhones but ask Sprint and T-Mobile how that was working for them.

          It won’t hurt Apple much to change course and become their own publisher but it will definately “KILL” the publishing world. Who’s fault will that be?

          1. A better analogy would be if there were only 5 suppliers of groceries and the largest store (e.g. Walmart) met with them and they all colluded to set pricing (raising prices by as much as 50%).

            That would work out well for Walmart and the 5 suppliers but not so well for anyone else. Other grocery chains that want to compete on price would not be able to do so and everyone would be paying much more for their food.

            This is a violation of U.S. Anti-Trust law and this is what got Apple and the 5 publishers in trouble. You can find more info at:

            http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324425204578597453053469898.html
            and http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/07/how-apple-led-an-e-book-price-conspiracy-in-the-judges-words/

            1. I would say you (and others I have read/heard say the same or similar) do not understand what exactly happened in the DoJ vs Apple case.

              Stripped down to its essence, Judge Cote’s judgement was this: none of the individual things Apple did was inherently illegal, but taken together made them illegal.

              How is such an opinion remotely defensible? It is intellectually (if not legally) absurd. I would even go so far as to say it is insane as it defies logic and reason.

              Is this how our legal system works now… two (or more) rights make a wrong?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.