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[Ars] Apple was “ringmaster” in conspiracy to fix e-book prices, US says

post #1 of 37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Brodkin 
The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit last year against Apple and six e-book publishers: Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, Pearson, and Simon & Schuster. The trial is scheduled to begin June 3 in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Apple has denied being part of any conspiracy, but the government's proposed conclusions of law (PDF) include an e-mail Steve Jobs sent to James Murdoch of HarperCollins' owner News Corp., in which Jobs said HarperCollins should "[t]hrow in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99.”

The government also noted that Jobs "admitted to his biographer that Apple 'told the publishers "We’ll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that is what you want anyway. But we also asked for a guarantee that if anybody else is selling the books cheaper than we are, then we can sell them at the lower price too.'"

Apple was “ringmaster” in conspiracy to fix e-book prices, US says


Now if only they would conspire to bring the price of eBooks to less than the cost of a paperback (eg $3.99), then we'd be cooking with gas. devil.gif
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post #2 of 37
I know I've been rather disgusted as of late...I only buy ebooks and there is a book I'd really like to get that was released last September and it is still $14.99 for crying out loud. I am sure i could go buy a paper back for $7 or less by now, but I can't stand having paper around even if it is temporarily while I am reading a book...plus I got to haul the thing around. I will be carrying my phone any way so I might as well have my book on it.

Before now I don't think I've even seen an ebook that was more than $8 or so.


Edit: It's been a while since I've checked and it has come down to $12...but you can buy hard covers for less. This is the book I find it odd that the ebook price is the same on Amazon, Barns&Noble, and Google Books. That just stinks of price setting...though if it is coming from the publisher there is nothing legally wrong with that.
Edited by Vagrant Storm - 5/15/13 at 11:23am
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post #3 of 37

I'm sure apple became the most profitable company (give or take a petroleum company) on good merits rolleyes.gif

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post #4 of 37
Can we just launch an antitrust investigation into Apple already? Don't get me wrong, they make some attractive and good products, but the amount of bullying the market that Apple does is getting absurd. Apple needs to go back to early days with Wozniak where there was a push for innovation, love of technology, and making stuff that could be hacked and modified by the end user instead of the greedy, profit driven, walled garden Steve Jobs model.

Honestly, it seems like half the time I see Apple in the news, it's either some asinine patent lawsuit, them bullying the market and trying to fix prices, or them bullying a company to get exclusivity.
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post #5 of 37
Don't even bother releasing that kind of info unless you have some intention of actually doing something about it imo.
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post #6 of 37
ah ebooks. first, i have no clue why ebooks aren't the defacto format at this point. secondly, why do ebooks cost more than physical paperbacks? why do publishers hate ebooks so much that they will only offer them if they can charge more, even though there is no cost related to materials?
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzleBoy View Post

Don't even bother releasing that kind of info unless you have some intention of actually doing something about it imo.

I think it used to make companies stop what they are doing and behave, but now days they just say, "You mad? Come at me bro", and just tie the case up in court for years all the while going on about their business. By the time the court fine and order to cease come down they've already made many times that amount in profits from the questionable practices.
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post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by perfectblade View Post

ah ebooks. first, i have no clue why ebooks aren't the defacto format at this point. secondly, why do ebooks cost more than physical paperbacks? why do publishers hate ebooks so much that they will only offer them if they can charge more, even though there is no cost related to materials?

No cost related to the materials? Instead of paying for the paper and ink on each book, which if you don't go all nuts on with fancy paper and thick text, isn't extremely expensive. Meanwhile an ebook needs to be delivered which takes a cut for the bandwidth and having it within the ebook store. It also requires someone to make it into an ebook, whether that be the publisher or an outside source, which then takes some more straight up pay or another cut of the pie. In the end the "materials" for ebooks may in fact cost more due to everyone taking a cut here and there for their services, licensing, royalties, etc.
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post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwilightEscape View Post

No cost related to the materials? Instead of paying for the paper and ink on each book, which if you don't go all nuts on with fancy paper and thick text, isn't extremely expensive. Meanwhile an ebook needs to be delivered which takes a cut for the bandwidth and having it within the ebook store. It also requires someone to make it into an ebook, whether that be the publisher or an outside source, which then takes some more straight up pay or another cut of the pie. In the end the "materials" for ebooks may in fact cost more due to everyone taking a cut here and there for their services, licensing, royalties, etc.

I don't think I'd say that. Even if the cost to actually produce an ebook was more than an equal paper back...and I highly doubt that, there would still be the cost of shipping the paper books. The cost of Internet bandwidth is nothing compared to the cost of diesel fuel in a truck. Even if you pack the truck full to get the most for the money...it costs $10 just to drive the truck a few miles while only moving a few thousand books.

And the costs to print a paper book are applied to each book made...the cost to make an ebook is done once and it is done. Then it is just data hosting. So it would depend on how well the book sold to really determine which way is more cost effective. If only 10,000 copies were expected to be sold it would probably be cheaper to go paper. If you are hoping for the New York Times best seller list then ebook is the way to go.
Edited by Vagrant Storm - 5/15/13 at 11:44am
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post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwilightEscape View Post

No cost related to the materials? Instead of paying for the paper and ink on each book, which if you don't go all nuts on with fancy paper and thick text, isn't extremely expensive. Meanwhile an ebook needs to be delivered which takes a cut for the bandwidth and having it within the ebook store. It also requires someone to make it into an ebook, whether that be the publisher or an outside source, which then takes some more straight up pay or another cut of the pie. In the end the "materials" for ebooks may in fact cost more due to everyone taking a cut here and there for their services, licensing, royalties, etc.
All those cost apply to paper book too, in addition to transport, materials.
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