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  • WSJ: U.S. Department of Justice is Coming for Apple


    In a potential move that sounds particularly serious in nature, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the U.S. Department of Justice may be coming after Apple. And this isn't over an alleged Proview trademark violation in China. This is pretty heavy.

    According to the venerable financial publication, "The Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books."

    It isn't clear as of this writing if the sources that leaked the information are associated with Apple or the DOJ. Regardless, it's a major developing story and one that could unfold shortly. In short, the Justice Department reportedly believes that Apple and the publishers (Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group, Macmillan, and HarperCollins) should be sued for violating federal antitrust laws.

    Although it isn't known if and how Apple could be punished for allegedly colluding to pump up eBook prices, settlement talks are believed to have already begun. And what could the eventual result be for consumers? Cheaper eBooks, says the WSJ.

    Source: WSJ
    This article was originally published in forum thread: WSJ: U.S. Department of Justice is Coming for Apple started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. The Amazing Atheist's Avatar
      The Amazing Atheist -
      What does Apple have to do with raising the prices of eBooks?
    1. techsn0w's Avatar
      techsn0w -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Amazing Atheist View Post
      What does Apple have to do with raising the prices of eBooks?
      It's a way to bring down the big guy. It makes great press.
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      Well I'm all for lower eBook prices! I don't see why they're so much anyways since there's virtually no publishing costs..
    1. aidanharris's Avatar
      aidanharris -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Amazing Atheist View Post
      What does Apple have to do with raising the prices of eBooks?
      I'm assuming apple take a cut on all books sold through iBooks do say a book costs a dollar it would still cost a dollar but they could up the price to five dollars to take a four dollar cut while still giving the author his one dollar per book...
    1. ne0nlitez's Avatar
      ne0nlitez -
      well you see they probably raised the price of their ebooks. wtf kind of question are you asking?

      uh maybe because they raised the prices of their ebooks?
    1. swifty7's Avatar
      swifty7 -
      lol I was thinking the same thing unless the e-book sellers have to raise their prices to compensate for fees imposed by Apple.....don't know really!!!!!
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Amazing Atheist View Post
      What does Apple have to do with raising the prices of eBooks?
      One word IBooks
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      What many people seem to be missing here is not the fact that Apple is actively hurting anyone now, but they are getting into a position where this might happen. Price fixing, etc. can be a very bad thing for the industry. Even if Apple's intents are not malicious, if they get into a position where malicious intents can effect the industry, that become a very, VERY big problem.
    1. Agent929's Avatar
      Agent929 -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Amazing Atheist View Post
      What does Apple have to do with raising the prices of eBooks?
      If its bought from apple that make money off it too
    1. ddonuts4's Avatar
      ddonuts4 -
      Good. I dont know much about the subject, but from what i have seen, E-books are overpriced. It costs next to nothing to publish them. With paper books it costs money to print, bind, and ship them.

      As for whether or not apple is involved in this... That remains to be seen. I wouldn't put it past them to collude with book publishers, but it's likely that something a little different happened. I think apple wanted a cut of the sales and publishers wouldn't have that. So the publishers had an idea and said: 'either you sell them at a higher price to make up for that percent cut, or you don't sell our books.'
    1. louee6's Avatar
      louee6 -
      F**k the Feds, them punks just mad Apple have more money than them!! Lol
    1. ohthatguyagain's Avatar
      ohthatguyagain -
      Interesting. Apple actually brought the price of books down. So low, you may remember, that the profit margins were too small for others to compete. So the end result is that ebook prices, will in fact, go back up, should this lawsuit succeed. (please reference the many articles posted here and on CNN about the subject). In addition, the publishers set the price of the book, not apple.

      I agree with the idea of raising ebook prices. Though I believe in free digital media, I agree that folks who create and amass works of knowledge should be paid for their work.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      Apple set up this new model for eBooks, which allowed the publisher, not the seller to set the price. Now this in and of it's self wouldn't be any violation of Anti-Trust laws, after all there were already a few stores (such as LuLu) that already worked using this model.

      The difference is at the time LuLu would only take a 1%-2% cut from eBooks, while Apple would take a 30% cut. So, if you are a publisher, what would you do? Well, most would sell the book for less on LuLu than on Apple, since they would still end up with the same amount of money in their pocket and this would keep eBook prices down and get them in more hands.

      This is where Apple comes in as potentially violating Anti-Trust laws. Their rules state that you can no longer sell a book cheaper than you are selling it through them. Well, since they take a larger cut, obviously prices must go up.

      In addition, at the time Amazon was taking a much, much smaller cut, but was setting the prices of the books themselves rather than allowing the publisher to set the price. Amazon then changed their model to match Apple's as well, because that's what the publisher's demanded they do or else they would have to stop selling on Amazon, because they couldn't sell the books at a potentially lower price or they would get kicked out of iBooks.