Skip to comments.US government files antitrust suit against Apple over e-book pricing
Posted on 04/11/2012 7:31:07 AM PDT by xzins
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
By AppleInsider Staff
Published: 10:05 AM EST (07:05 AM PST)
An antitrust suit accusing Apple and a number of book publishers of price fixing and collusion was filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday.
The complaint was filed in a New York district court against Apple, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Penguin, according to Bloomberg. Indications first surfaced on Tuesday that the Department of Justice was readying an antitrust suit.
The justice department is expected to settle with "several publishers" this week, as Reuters reported earlier that Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins are involved in negotiations. Apple and Macmillan have reportedly refused to engage in settlement talks, and have argued that Apple's pricing agreements have enhanced competition in an industry that was previously dominated by Amazon.
Word of the government's interest in e-book price fixing first came to light in March, when ti was revealed that the Department of Justice had warned Apple and five major publishers of its plans to sue them. The government has taken issue with Apple's alleged role in convincing e-book publishers to switch to an "agency model" for sales, rather than the "wholesale model" that Amazon had implemented with its own Kindle store.
Under Amazon's method, publishers would sell their books at wholesale and let the bookseller set its own prices. Amazon repeatedly upset publishers by selling titles at a loss.
I could have predicted this, but Apple does have a point about Amazon dominating the market.
In that case, this would be 2 giants slugging it out, so I’m not sure it rises to the level of anti-trust.
More from the War on Business regime.
How’s that “Made in China” think working out Apple?
I wish Steve Jobs were still around to tell Holder to go f@#& himself. Tim Cook seems like a pushover.
Given that the two retailers are competing with different price models, it seems to me that competition. The only way it could be remotely considered for antitrust litigation would be if the publishers colluded to cut out the retailer that uses the model they don’t like.
The problem is that if you use an ipad you get books for pennies, but anything else you pay the paper price for the book. Apple locked up that deal with publishers and cut everyone else out.
Amazon on the other hand has been running bookstores out of business by their pricing that delivers books to the door of your house cheaper or as cheap as stores can sell them off the shelf. Amazon has become the gorilla no one can compete with.
So, Apple versus Amazon seems a fair competition. We only need WalMart to get in the middle of it to have a tournament. :>)
Just a thought. ;-)
We could file suit that a single flat rate tax doesn’t discriminate against our poorer citizens.
I’m with ya!
What for? Jobs was a Berkeley liberal. Even gave Buttcrack a Iphone v5 prototype. And this is the thanks he gets.
It was only a matter of time before the vultures of the Federal Government descended on Apple- one of the brightest examples of Capitalism at work one can find.
They beat on Microsoft. Now it’s Apple’s turn.
I’m trying to figure out what is so “anti-trust” about publishers making deals with book retailers. Barnes & Noble does it. Amazon does it, Wal Mart does it. But Apple is a ripe target.
I’m not so sure- some books I have considered buying from Amazon lately (Kindle format) have been nearly as expensive as their price for the print version. Not all publishers play nice w/Amazon. They don’t cut any better deals for Apple.
Lets see- Amazon’s Kindle vs Apple’s iBooks, vs B&N Nook and the relative newcomer Google Books...
So let’s pick just one of those and file an anti-trust case against them.
the publishers were attacking amazon. Apple actually colluded with the publishes to break amazon and use set prices (see price fixing) and more all ebooks to the istore.
There is merit to the case. I bet the people who are in that department of the doj are the parked lawyers who are not given plumb assignments of protecting black pathers or attacking republicans or “investigating” those who expose voter fraud.
That would be what they did. They forced Amazopn to go to Apple’s model.
the problem is the publishes and apple all conspired in a coordinated attack to fix the prices. No free market. The publishers wanted a guarantee set minimum price and apple colluded with them to create a anti-capitalist monopoly.
it was amazon vs all of the others together.
-—Lets see- Amazons Kindle vs Apples iBooks, vs B&N Nook and the relative newcomer Google Books... So lets pick just one of those and file an anti-trust case against them.-—
It seems that Obama may be motivated by something other than the consumer’s best interest.
Fortunately, I know that’s not possible. Keep up the good work, Barky!
Apple colluded with the big publishing houses to put the screws to Amazon. They (the publishing houses) then sent out a press release about it.
Sure Jobs was a liberal. But he was interested in himself first. To him, rules didn’t apply, no matter who tried to enforce them - liberals or conservatives.
Apple just hasn’t ponied up enuf $$ to his re-erection effort.
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