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Old 07-11-2013, 10:04 PM   #241
kennyc
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Originally Posted by FizzyWater View Post
Wasn't it stated in the original settlement documents, though, that arranging with a bookstore to go to agency wasn't the issue. It was the insistence that all the publishers had to do it at the same time and that they must also convert their existing contracts with other bookstores to the same, wasn't it, that was the conspiracy?

One of the disappointments to me (although I understand it's currently legal) was that all the publishers are welcome to return to agency pricing after the 2 year probation period is up. They just can't conspire to do it all at once.
Yeah, the Agency model is unAmerican, but that's okay all those publishers will be out of business in another 10 years anyway.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:30 PM   #242
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From Kenny's link:




Logically, shouldn't the price of books go down as the number of vendors go down. Fewer vendors means consolidated shipping, less accounting overhead, ...
Logically increased competition should drive prices down and not up, at least with a heathy free market. It's disingenuous for Shatkin to argue logic here. The publishers can and probably will sell direct in the future. There problem has been that they didn't want to compete with their B&M chain and now their problem is getting people to shop at their site instead of Amazon. If Amazon were to drive up prices as the fear mongers purport it would drive the customers to another competitor or into the hands of the publishers. Amazon isn't stupid they know this, besides are they going to drive up the prices higher then the 50% that the illegal cartel already did?

It's all a big red herring and Shatkin is just another FUD distributor. Amazon is like Walmart, they don't use their market dominance to drive up customer prices, they use it to squeeze their supplier. That's what the publishers are afraid of and that's why the FUD campaign.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:37 PM   #243
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on the other hand once rh panguin and all others have each others apps on ther own stores how do u no if person is reading a ebook on ibook app or rh or kindle

on my ipad mini i have google books stanza kindle ibooks kobo and lots more

my point is u can buy ebooks stanza kindle ibooks kobo and lots more ebook web sites
non of them no what u use the most they just know u r device has the apps

im not one for a over charged ebook i do shop around.

but i do limit the ebook apps to ones i find the easyest to use


but that could be kindle ibooks rh but depends on cost

just cus i own a kindle and an ipad mini doest means i stay to there default apps


but once publishers can sell from own sites what happen then

and that to me is why this is happening

Last edited by sian; 07-11-2013 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:58 AM   #244
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The judge's opinion is that the Apple executives were lying. She didn't catch them in a lie. No evidence was presented that showed the executives lying. It's just her opinion that they weren't believable. The judge and I disagree.
From the ruling, p44, my emphasis:

Quote:
In this and several other aspects of Cue’s testimony, regrettably, he was not credible. The documentary record and the commercial context of the negotiations leave room for no other conclusion. Apple’s pitch to the Publishers was -- from beginning to end -- a vision for a new industry-wide price schedule. Any other course would have left the Publishers vulnerable to Amazon’s pricing strategies and would have forced Apple to compete on price. Accordingly, Cue’s repeated assertion at trial that his sole “focus” was on thinking about the agency deals and their effects “from an Apple point of view,” cannot be taken at face value. As a savvy negotiator he knew how to place himself in the Publishers’ shoes, understand their interests, and appeal to their concerns, as he eventually admitted toward the end of his testimony.
From p84, where she gives 4 reasons why she does not find a key part of Cue's testimony credible:

Quote:
Cue admitted at trial that Apple “expected” each of the Publisher Defendants to demand that Amazon move to an agency model, but denied actually “knowing” that they would. This testimony was not credible, for many reasons. Cue’s denial of prior knowledge of Sargent’s trip to Amazon was particularly brazen given the January 24 email in which Sargent explained his inability to attend the Launch because he would be traveling to Seattle, Jobs’s comment to his biographer on January 28 -- the day of Sargent’s meeting with Amazon -- that the Publisher Defendants “went to Amazon and said, ‘You’re going to sign an agency contract or we’re not going to give you the books,’” a January 30 email exchange between Saul and Cue monitoring news about Amazon’s decision to remove Macmillan’s buy buttons and wondering whether Cue had “talk[ed] with [J]on” Sargent and a January 31 email in which Sargent reported to Cue on the trip.
From p147, just one paragraph of considerable evidence that Cue was orchestrating, not simply observing, the collusion:

Quote:
Cue and the Publishers also exchanged many telephone calls. Some of the more dramatic of these calls have already been highlighted. For example, Cue called three Publishers in late December to confirm that they would be willing to adopt an agency model across all of their resellers of e-books if that were a pathway to higher prices. He told Hachette’s Thomas over the telephone that Apple was providing “the best chance for publishers to challenge the 9.99 price point.” Cue called Reidy on January 21 to enlist her help in convincing Macmillan’s Sargent to execute the Agreement, and called Sargent to assist Macmillan’s agency negotiations with Amazon.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:28 AM   #245
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I think the PUBLISHERS apparently did collude. I do not think Apple did. Reading the judges pdf, it appeared to me that Apple is guilty for being the reason that the publishers colluding could succeed...and that Apple should have known/did know that the publishers were talking to each other.

Apple layed out very reasonable "it's in our best normal business interest" reasonings for their actions. Thus the worst interpretation of their actions need not have been the one the judge decided to believe.
I think it would have been possible for Apple to have done this without being found guilty of collusion, if they had left everything to their legal department and refused any contact with the publishers from anybody other than their lawyers.
Then everything would have been nice and sanitised and they would have had a plausible argument that they were simply offering standard terms to each publishers, and had nothing to do with the publishers colluding to decide to accept.
But they didn't do that. They allowed non-lawyers to get involved, which is why there is a papertrail proving that their hands were dirty too.
Lesson here is to leave the law-breaking to the lawyers, they are the experts.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:30 AM   #246
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If someone is going into the book selling business...you are going to be talking to the top 6 publishers. That is not collusion in my book. Apple met with and negotiated separately with each company. They ALL had the same problem in Amazon. It did not take collusion to realize this.
But saying, "Yes, if you join the others will join too" is collusion.
And letting it actually be written down is just stupid.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:25 AM   #247
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Publicly bragging about your illegal schemes is also likely to get your company into legal trouble.

From pp. 85-86 of the .pdf file:

Quote:
On January 27, Jobs launched the iPad. As part of a beautifully orchestrated presentation, he also introduced the iPad’s e-reader capability and the iBookstore. He proudly displayed the names and logos of each Publisher Defendant whose books would populate the iBookstore. To show the ease with which an iTunes customer could buy a book, standing in front of a giant screen displaying his own iPad’s screen, Jobs browsed through his iBooks “bookshelf,” clicked on the “store” button in the upper corner of his e-book shelf display, watched the shelf seamlessly flip to the iBookstore, and purchased one of Hachette’s NYT Bestsellers, Edward M. Kennedy’s memoir, True Compass, for $14.99. With one tap, the e-book was downloaded, and its cover appeared on Jobs’s bookshelf, ready to be opened and read.

When asked by a reporter later that day why people would pay $14.99 in the iBookstore to purchase an e-book that was selling at Amazon for $9.99, Jobs told a reporter, “Well, that won’t be the case.” When the reporter sought to clarify, “You mean you won’t be 14.99 or they won’t be 9.99?” Jobs paused, and with a knowing nod responded, “The price will be the same,” and explained that “Publishers are actually withholding their books from Amazon because they are not happy.” With that statement, Jobs acknowledged his understanding that the Publisher Defendants would now wrest control of pricing from Amazon and raise e-book prices, and that Apple would not have to face any competition from Amazon on price.

The import of Jobs’s statement was obvious. On January 29, the General Counsel of [Simon & Schuster] wrote to [the CEO of S&S, Carolyn] Reidy that she “cannot believe that Jobs made the statement” and considered it “[i]ncredibly stupid.”
At this point, the only way to believe in Apple's innocence is to avoid reading the ruling, deny all the evidence, and stick your fingers in your ears singing "lah, lah, lah, I can't hear you..."
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:27 AM   #248
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Publicly bragging about your illegal schemes is also likely to get your company into legal trouble.

From pp. 85-86 of the .pdf file:



At this point, the only way to believe in Apple's innocence is to avoid reading the ruling, deny all the evidence, and stick your fingers in your ears singing "lah, lah, lah, I can't hear you..."
Yep, he was something of an arrogant bastard.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:50 AM   #249
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But... but... but... surely my desire for their actions to NOT be illegal trumps anything a silly old federal judge (and common sense) might have to say about it, right?
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:03 AM   #250
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...

If someone knowingly aids in an illegal act (they know it is illegal)they are just as guilty as the others.
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Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
Who is this "they?"

Steve Jobs? He'd dead. Other executives have moved on. And what is going to happen to the people who are still there and conspired? Are they going to be -- horror! -- written up by their boss? Denied a Christmas bonus? Neither one. Instead they will be gently told by legal how the airlines, after getting a similar hand-slap many years ago, now manage to keep so many prices identical with winking and nodding rather than explicit statements.

Apple is a publicly held company. It's almost 3 percent of the S&P 500 stock basket that a large portion of middle income Americans have their pension invested in. Those average Americans won't be hurt much by this, but they will be hurt a tiny bit, which is also the degree of hurt the conspirators will face. My point in mentioning the pension plans is that the people hurt by this ruling, if anyone, are not likely to have had anything to do with the conspiracy.

...
I'm assuming "they" is "Apple". If that is just one person, or more than one person, it is still Apple. If these were "rouge" employees that broke the law, then Apple should have argued that. Are you really saying that Apple should be saying "Well, the main conspirators are no longer with the company. Can we go now?"

As for the penalties and its affects... If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. I'm guessing that any monetary penalty will be minuscule compared to Apple's bottom line. There will probably be some public outcry, but Apple has a strong following and all will be forgotten in a few years.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:05 AM   #251
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I'm assuming "they" is "Apple". If that is just one person, or more than one person, it is still Apple. If these were "rouge" employees that broke the law, then Apple should have argued that. Are you really saying that Apple should be saying "Well, the main conspirators are no longer with the company. Can we go now?"

As for the penalties and its affects... If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. I'm guessing that any monetary penalty will be minuscule compared to Apple's bottom line. There will probably be some public outcry, but Apple has a strong following and all will be forgotten in a few years.
Exactly.

Corporations are people too.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:07 AM   #252
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Amazon had made it so that nobody could make money selling ebooks.
I was under the impression that Amazon was making money overall on their ebook business, just that they were using bestsellers as a loss leader. Or were they using ebooks as a loss leader for their overall business?

If its the former, I'm sure others could've had a go of it as well.

Last edited by K. Molen; 07-12-2013 at 10:17 AM. Reason: typo fix
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:35 AM   #253
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There were plenty of books sold for more then $9.99.

I remember when I got my K1 thinking about getting the NY Times on it, the amount I would save on an annual subscription and that I was saving on best sellers (yes I read best sellers) was enough to pay off the K1. Amazon was working to make it worth while to buy the K1 because the silly thing was so expensive. That said, there were books that I did not buy because they were the same price as the paperback or hardback version and that bothered me at the time.
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:05 AM   #254
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As for the penalties and its affects... If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. I'm guessing that any monetary penalty will be minuscule compared to Apple's bottom line. There will probably be some public outcry, but Apple has a strong following and all will be forgotten in a few years.
All true.
But...
US antitrust law has a lot more flexibility in its "remedies" toolkit than just fines.
Especially when dealing with companies with cashflows bigger than your typical small country.

If Apple could have gotten out of this just by writing a check they would've settled along with the rest of the gang. But as ringleaders and repeat colluders, the feds wanted more from Apple than a promise not to misbehave again. They asked for 5 years of day to day monitoring of Apple dealmaking activity. It's not impossible to collude with federal lawyers and beancounters tracking your every move but it certainly makes it trickier. And a third offense might bring out the big guns...

There is no indication the judge intends to penalize Apple much beyond the DOJ settlement terms but...she can and she could. Given the evidence the DOJ presented she can arguably apply an ATT solution as an alternative or supplement to monitoring.

From here on out Apple needs to be "wewy, wewy caweful..."
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:11 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by K. Molen View Post
I was under the impression that Amazon was making money over all on their ebook business, just that they were using bestsellers as a loss leader. Or were they using ebooks as a loss leader for their overall business?

If its the former, I'm sure others could've had a go of it as well.
Only *some* bestsellers and only while they were in early release.
No different than weekly sales at supermarkets or dept stores.

And that is Amazon's true crime; they treat books like any other consumer product instead of as a special snowflake.
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