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  • DOJ: Apple Tried to Fix eBook Prices


    This week, the United States Department of Justice stepped up allegations that Apple engaged in a horizontal price-fixing scheme with regard to eBook prices. The tech giant, new documents filed by the DOJ reveal, conspired with huge publishers in violation of antitrust laws “to strip retailers of pricing authority.”

    The department’s Antitrust Division filed papers for a trial set to begin June 3 in federal court in Manhattan that included excerpts of e-mails and depositions of Apple executives including the company’s late founder, Steve Jobs, and Senior Vice President Eddy Cue and publishing executives.
    According to Bloomberg, the U.S. cited evidence in its case such as an email sent by late Apple CEO Steve Jobs to James Murdoch of News Corp. In the undated email, Jobs writes: “Apple’s iTunes Store and App Store have over 120 million customers with credit cards on file and have downloaded over 12 billion products... This is the type of online assets that will be required to scale the e-book business into something that matters to the publishers.”

    The U.S. first brought suit against Apple and leading industry publishers in 2012.

    “Apple did not conspire to fix eBook pricing,” Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Apple, said today. “We helped transform the eBook market with the introduction of the iBookstore in 2010 bringing consumers an expanded selection of eBooks and delivering innovative new features. The market has been thriving and innovating since Apple’s entry and we look forward to going to trial to defend ourselves.”

    Source: Bloomberg
    This article was originally published in forum thread: DOJ: Apple Tried to Fix eBook Prices started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      I am sure plenty of people here on this site will still believe a spokesman for Apple over the justice department with evidence showing price fixing.

      I read quite a bit in print, see quite a bit of mom and pop bookstores go down because they could not compete because of this. I hope justice department prosecute Apple to the fullest extent of the law, but I know what will happen is Apple will donate to some elected official's fund + make an apology of some sort and walk away with slap on the wrist.
    1. Sniper488's Avatar
      Sniper488 -
      What about Walmart?
    1. claustin's Avatar
      claustin -
      Quote Originally Posted by unison999 View Post
      I am sure plenty of people here on this site will still believe a spokesman for Apple over the justice department with evidence showing price fixing.

      I read quite a bit in print, see quite a bit of mom and pop bookstores go down because they could not compete because of this. I hope justice department prosecute Apple to the fullest extent of the law, but I know what will happen is Apple will donate to some elected official's fund + make an apology of some sort and walk away with slap on the wrist.
      Oh please. The reason mom and pop bookstores are going down is the same reason brick and mortar music stores went down. Books are moving to digital. Apple's move into the ebook market jump started it just like the iTunes store did for music. Borders went bankrupt because they moved too slow into this new digital marketplace, whereas Barnes & Noble brought the nook to compete. It has far less to do with Apple than it does with the progression of technology into the mainstream. I try not to buy paper books or magazines anymore. I don't need them cluttering up my space when I can have them all neat and tidy on my iPad.

      It's the same reason digital comics have had a hard time taking off. The publishers think they should still be able to charge the same for a digital copy as they do for a physical copy. The problem is physical copies have value to collectors and digital have none. They have zero potential to appreciate in value. It's the digital music revolution all over again. Everybody would just download music illegally rather than pay $15-$30 bucks for an entire album on CD, where you only got a few good songs. It wasn't until Apple came along and put music at a no-think purchase point and gave it the ease of use that it was easier to just buy rather than to pirate. We're going through the same thing with printed media now. eBooks were essentially a non-starter until Apple got involved and made them mainstream. The downfall of "mom and pop" book stores is just a casualty of progress.

      You either change with the technology or you die. Digital copies of books and magazines should cost at most 50% of physical copies. Apple's book pricing is far from the most important aspect of this scenario.