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Old 10-27-2012, 05:40 AM   #16
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I just hope these mergers won't steer the industry towards more monopolies which would be bad for the customers.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:18 AM   #17
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The dominant power that Amazon has achieved in some markets apparently requires an equally dominant publisher as a counterbalance.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:59 PM   #18
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It's been reported that Amazon has 90% of the UK ebook trade. Penguin (Pearson) is a British company who wants to concentrate on the educational market. They could either spin the rest into a weaker company or merge with another.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:43 PM   #19
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I just hope these mergers won't steer the industry towards more monopolies which would be bad for the customers.
This is an industry in which producers already have a legal monopoly over almost every product they sell (the exception being classics).

Do I therefore think the degree of market consolidation in the publishing industry is unrelated to individual product prices? Well, actually, I'm not sure. But when you combine the fact that publishing would still be a rather non-consolidated industry after the merger, and the fact that the products are already monopolized, I can't see it really giving them power to raise prices.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:46 PM   #20
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The dominant power that Amazon has achieved in some markets apparently requires an equally dominant publisher as a counterbalance.
This merged company would still be small compared to Amazon, both in overall size and eBook market share.
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:00 AM   #21
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Random Penguin or House Penguin?

Either way, I'm not so sure that this is good for the book publishing industry and public.
How about Penguin House??
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:10 PM   #22
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This merged company would still be small compared to Amazon, both in overall size and eBook market share.
Bertelsmann has annual sales of 15 billion € - while that's not the same size as Amazon it isn't a minnow, either. The main aspect is that it is so big that its books cannot simply be removed by Amazon just because Amazon isn't happy with the sales agreement.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:20 PM   #23
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The dominant power that Amazon has achieved in some markets apparently requires an equally dominant publisher as a counterbalance.
As long as publishers speak in a single voice, there is no need for merging. It is unfortunately the case that big publishers usually agree on "sensitive" topics such as DRM and eBook ownership versus lease.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:47 PM   #24
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As long as publishers speak in a single voice, there is no need for merging.
Speaking with that single voice via collusion and strongarming is what landed them in antitrust court. And why, given that collusion is now off the table for at least five years, they are looking to merge their declining pbook business to achieve the same effect.

Merger = legal collusion. (In their view. Just read their justifications.)

This is not a good thing for any reader, regardless of what you may think about Amazon.

Last edited by fjtorres; 10-28-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:55 PM   #25
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Speaking with that single voice via collusion and strongarming is what landed them in antitrust court. And why, given that collusion is now off the table for at least five years, they are looking to merge their declining pbook business to achieve the same effect.
Fair enough.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:14 PM   #26
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Dominant percentage is whatever the bureaucrats and lawyers say it is.
(Just ask GE about how the EU torpedoed *their* merger with Honeywell. Just 'cause.)

The very publisher-friendly article in the OP tells you why the merger will be looked upon askew: no retailer will be able to do without their books so they won't have any meaningful leverage in negotiations.
That is by anybody's definition "too much" market power.
Achieving "too much" market power by merger instead of by native growth is a common reason to block mergers.

And doing this right on the heals of an antitrust action for conspiracy to collude and raise prices? Where one of the merger partners used *its* market power to force a top-rank retailer to pressure the other merger partner to conform to the conspiracy's terms?
Oh, yeah; that is going to go down well at the DOJ...
Excuse me please... what is this "DOJ" and why should I care about it, have checked and is not an EU organisation, seems to be US... which, contrary to some beliefs, isn't the "be all and end all" of the world... And the argument that, "...no retailer will be able to do without their books..." applies to every publisher from an indie to Amazon... a publisher usually has sole rights to publish a given title in a given area, hence has to be dealt with...

Personally, I'd rather publishers merged if it means they can survive long enough to reorganise their way of doing business but I realise that is heresy on MR as any organisation is automatically running a giant conspiracy to crush everyone else and impose their evil will on the world...
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #27
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Excuse me please... what is this "DOJ" and why should I care about it, have checked and is not an EU organisation, seems to be US... which, contrary to some beliefs, isn't the "be all and end all" of the world...
Which is *exactly* why I quoted the GE/Honeywell merger fiasco.
We all share the same frakked-out planet and, like it or not, everybody has something to say about how things are run.

If you don't like the DOJ applying properly-legislated american law, think about how we feel when the unelected Brusselcrats apply *their* made-up arbitrary regulations.
Europe is hardly the pinnacle of democracy some would like to pretend.

So, can we get back to roasting greedy conniving multinationals instead of nationalistic grievances?
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:12 PM   #28
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Which is *exactly* why I quoted the GE/Honeywell merger fiasco.
We all share the same frakked-out planet and, like it or not, everybody has something to say about how things are run.

If you don't like the DOJ applying properly-legislated american law, think about how we feel when the unelected Brusselcrats apply *their* made-up arbitrary regulations.
Europe is hardly the pinnacle of democracy some would like to pretend.

So, can we get back to roasting greedy conniving multinationals instead of nationalistic grievances?
No... roasting "greedy conniving multinationals" is something you may get back to but is one of the things that is increasingly causing MR to degenerate into mindless ranting rather than being an intelligent forum for discussion of and promoting things to do with Mobile Reading... worth a look occasionally, worth a post occasionally but now a lot less compelling for overall content...
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:13 PM   #29
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Excuse me please... what is this "DOJ" and why should I care about it, have checked and is not an EU organisation, seems to be US... which, contrary to some beliefs, isn't the "be all and end all" of the world...
I am sure Kim Dotcom would have agreed with you, until New Zealand Police placed him in custody in response to US charges of criminal copyright infringement. It's a sad fact that the arm of US lobbyists reaches far beyond mere US borders.
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:22 PM   #30
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No... roasting "greedy conniving multinationals" is something you may get back to but is one of the things that is increasingly causing MR to degenerate into mindless ranting rather than being an intelligent forum for discussion of and promoting things to do with Mobile Reading...
You are absolutely right - it's not OK to automatically condemn businesses merely because they've reached a certain size. I believe people are highly sensitive and concerned about the formation of monopolies, monopsonies, oligopolies, and what not, due to the fact that only few players dictate the whole publishing and book market.

Last edited by shenye; 10-28-2012 at 04:42 PM. Reason: typo
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