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Thread: Senator Charles Schumer Weighs in on E-Book Suit Against Apple

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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default Senator Charles Schumer Weighs in on E-Book Suit Against Apple


    According to The Wall Street Journal, Senator Charles Schumer warned the U.S. Department of Justice that its suit against Apple and two major publishers could possibly “wipe out the publishing industry as we know it” by giving Amazon the chance to regain a monopoly share of the market. In his opinion piece titled “Memo to DOJ: Drop the Apple E-Books Suit: Restoring Amazon’s monopoly in digital publishing is not in the public interest,” Schumer asserts that Apple’s stake in the e-book industry is vital for competitive consumer pricing and for young writers who hope to showcase their work.

    Senator Schumer wrote, “The e-books marketplace provides a perfect example of the challenges traditional industries face in adapting to the Internet economy. Amazon took an early lead in e-book sales, capturing 90% of the retail market. Because of its large product catalog, Amazon could afford to sell e-books below cost." He went on to say that publishers faced with a Hobson’s choice between going with Amazon’s sales scheme or ignoring the march toward digital content. According to him, publishers “could allow their books to be sold at the prices Amazon set, thus undercutting their own current hardcopy sales and the future pricing expectations for digital books—or stay out of the e-books market entirely. In an increasingly digital age, the latter was simply not an option."

    The senator was referring to Amazon’s “wholesale model” which the company adopted when they first entered the e-book market. On the other end of the spectrum is Apple’s “agency model” which places the power with publishes to set content prices under a “most favored nations” clause. The Department of Justice feels that the agency model may infringe on antitrust laws, which is why the court took Apple and its publishing partners to court. Apple denies the allegations saying it broke up a perceived Amazon monopoly.

    The Wall Street Journal post also noted the Department of Justice’s focus on the prices of new books which have risen since Apple’s iBookstore was launched. Senator Schumer noted that the justice body ignored the overall downward trend of average e-book prices. He qualified this statement by saying that although consumers have a short-term interest in new releases, they have “a more pressing long-term interest in the survival of the publishing industry.” Last but not least, the senator voiced concern that the price-fixing suit has empowered monopolists and hurt those trying to innovate. Such an event is likely to have a “deterrent effect” to companies in the broader U.S. economy that are trying to adapt to the digital change. The department of Justice’s trial against Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin Group is set to begin in 2013 so we’ll have to wait and see what the outcome turns out to be.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

  2. #2
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    I really don't like politics trying to take a stance on this kind of stuff.

    The legeslative branch should have a stance on a case with the judicial branch...

    I really just can't stand when politics Talk like they should be able to say what happens to apple or anything it's not really there right. But of course they may as well since people are gullible enough to vote for them because they agree with them on non apparent matters like this

    and better yet he only chose to get mad at apple when there are 5 other big companies to get mad at why? cause all he cares about is the publicity
    Last edited by Mrteacup; 07-19-2012 at 10:35 AM.

  3. #3
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    hmm once again Apple can do no wrong. Would you not say that iTunes is the equivalent in the digital music market?

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    Always knew idiots runs congress, either that or Apple's lobbyist got to the Senator...

    Will Apple go away or gets shut down from this? No.
    Most that will happen will be huge fine of sort, then it is back to business without Apple controlling on pricing.
    Consumer will no longer be overcharged for ebooks, ebooks is delivered electronically the cost is minimal yet often I find myself paying more than print...

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    Green Apple i113's Avatar
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    E-books should be dirt cheap. All they have to do is store a file on a server then zap it to someone's device when it is purchased.

    They've cut out people that produce raw materials, printing, binding, packaging, shipping, all the way down to the person that eventually sells you the book. All those are the people getting screwed. Not the publishers, or the public.

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    Honestly, the publishers should be allowed to set the price that they get from Apple, Amazon, etc. and then it should be up to the stores to set the price accordingly.

    Also, the notion that Apple has stated that the publishers cannot sell their books for less on other sites is where the main issue comes in.

    eBooks are indeed over priced, they should be 1/4 to 1/2 the price of print books and no higher cost than that.

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone ohthatguyagain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltabell View Post
    hmm once again Apple can do no wrong. Would you not say that iTunes is the equivalent in the digital music market?
    No. No I would not. Nice try though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrteacup View Post
    I really don't like politics trying to take a stance on this kind of stuff.

    The legeslative branch should have a stance on a case with the judicial branch...

    I really just can't stand when politics Talk like they should be able to say what happens to apple or anything it's not really there right. But of course they may as well since people are gullible enough to vote for them because they agree with them on non apparent matters like this

    and better yet he only chose to get mad at apple when there are 5 other big companies to get mad at why? cause all he cares about is the publicity
    Well, Schumer's kind of a sleazeball. He's like a really shrewd used car salesman.

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