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Reuters: Justice Department ready to sue Apple over ebook price fixing (Updated)


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Reuters: Justice Department ready to sue Apple over ebook price fixing (Updated)

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A report from Reuters suggests the Department of Justice could file a lawsuit against Apple today over alleged ebook price fixing. Publishers involved in the price-fixing scheme are supposedly settling with the government, while Apple has stayed out of the negotiations. As a result, Apple could face legal action by the government as early as Wednesday. Reuters reached out to Apple and the company declined to comment.

Update: A Wall Street Journal report confirms the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against Apple and five book publishers including Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin Group (USA) and Macmillan. Sources familiar with the matter claim a settlement has been reached with some of the publishers. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to hold a press conference on Wednesday afternoon to discuss "a significant antitrust matter."



Reuters: Justice Department ready to sue Apple over ebook price fixing (Updated) originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 11 Apr 2012 09:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.




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Please, all the publishers should get sued not just Apple. Ebooks cost more than the price of a paperback sometimes!

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The CEO of Macmillan has responded to the suit.

A Message from John Sargent | Tor.com
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The irony of this bites hard: our government may be on the verge of killing real competition in order to save the appearance of competition.
Killing the open market is what our government is good at these days....


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
Please, all the publishers should get sued not just Apple. Ebooks cost more than the price of a paperback sometimes!
Several years ago I had a protracted debate with a colleague about something similar. We were preparing a report stating our positioning recommendations for a client's web-based training system (which was borderline revolutionary for the time and market). His position was that the added convenience and speed of the web medium constituted extra value above and beyond the more traditional training methods, and thus warranted a higher price. Naturally, I considered that argument to be complete nonesense.

The schism was so great between our philosophies that we couldn't bridge the gap, and we ended up preparing two reports to deliver to our client. Taking a [probably] unfair dig at my colleague, who was 25 years my senior, I titled my report "Dodging the comet: A guide for dinosaurs hoping to avoid extinction in the digital era."

In the end, though, the higher priced strategy won out.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shikarnov View Post
Several years ago I had a protracted debate with a colleague about something similar. We were preparing a report stating our positioning recommendations for a client's web-based training system (which was borderline revolutionary for the time and market). His position was that the added convenience and speed of the web medium constituted extra value above and beyond the more traditional training methods, and thus warranted a higher price. Naturally, I considered that argument to be complete nonsense.

The schism was so great between our philosophies that we couldn't bridge the gap, and we ended up preparing two reports to deliver to our client. Taking a [probably] unfair dig at my colleague, who was 25 years my senior, I titled my report "Dodging the comet: A guide for dinosaurs hoping to avoid extinction in the digital era."

In the end, though, the higher priced strategy won out.
Ah yes, the online convenience. Turns a $40 concert ticket from Ticketmaster into a $150 ticket. Convenience fees, my butt.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shikarnov View Post
Several years ago I had a protracted debate with a colleague about something similar. We were preparing a report stating our positioning recommendations for a client's web-based training system (which was borderline revolutionary for the time and market). His position was that the added convenience and speed of the web medium constituted extra value above and beyond the more traditional training methods, and thus warranted a higher price. Naturally, I considered that argument to be complete nonsense.

The schism was so great between our philosophies that we couldn't bridge the gap, and we ended up preparing two reports to deliver to our client. Taking a [probably] unfair dig at my colleague, who was 25 years my senior, I titled my report "Dodging the comet: A guide for dinosaurs hoping to avoid extinction in the digital era."

In the end, though, the higher priced strategy won out.
Out of curiosity, what was the outcome and how has it worked out since?


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Well, as I noted, my colleague's rationale won the debate and the client soon rolled out their new higher-priced training system. The market responded favorably to the electronic delivery, and my client made the double-dipped money they hoped to make.

In the years to follow, as electronic delivery began to become more common/standard, my client dropped the convenience factor from their messaging, but retained the price with no discernible effect on revenue.

Last year, due to low demand, they killed their original/traditional darling entirely, and today offer only electronic training (at the same, higher, price) -- effectively ending the story.

On a personal note, I tend to think this makes me something of an ideologue. All evidence to the contrary, I still think my colleague's original argument was a bunch of hot air, and I really believe that, given a few more years, my client's house of cards would have fallen over. To this day, I would still advise any client to charge less -- or at least the same -- for electronic distribution.

Have I been ahead of my time, or do I have my head in the sand? Time will tell...
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Originally Posted by Shikarnov View Post
Have I been ahead of my time, or do I have my head in the sand? Time will tell...
Few things are more annoying than when the universe fails to cooperate with our well-reasoned and logical arguments . . .

I, for one, do agree with your general thesis. And it annoys me greatly to be charged the same for an electronic file as a printed copy.

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