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Old 03-30-2014, 05:11 PM   #16
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Everyone loves a conspiracy. It's the stuff of great thrillers, blog posts and the like. Thus the popularity of books on Area 51, the Kennedy assassination, Big Foot, UFO's and the like. Unfortunately, actual conspiracies aren't all that common. Pulling books/movies/tv shows is fairly common in negotiations, when both sides are playing hard ball. Happens all the time in cable TV. Heck, Amazon pulled some publishers in a similar dispute in 2012 -

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/0...ks-in-dispute/

Penguin played hard ball with Amazon with regards to ebooks. Kind of hard to call it a conspiracy though. By definition, a conspiracy requires more than one actor.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
Everyone loves a conspiracy. It's the stuff of great thrillers, blog posts and the like. Thus the popularity of books on Area 51, the Kennedy assassination, Big Foot, UFO's and the like. Unfortunately, actual conspiracies aren't all that common. Pulling books/movies/tv shows is fairly common in negotiations, when both sides are playing hard ball. Happens all the time in cable TV. Heck, Amazon pulled some publishers in a similar dispute in 2012 -

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/0...ks-in-dispute/

Penguin played hard ball with Amazon with regards to ebooks. Kind of hard to call it a conspiracy though. By definition, a conspiracy requires more than one actor.
Yep which was the "big 5" or "big 6" if you count apple. But apparently Apple is the one that is getting the blame currently since the rest settled. Who knows though where this will all end up. Might be good, might be bad, we will just have to wait and see.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:20 PM   #18
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Well, actually, no this particular case was simply Penguin and Amazon.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
Everyone loves a conspiracy. It's the stuff of great thrillers, blog posts and the like. Thus the popularity of books on Area 51, the Kennedy assassination, Big Foot, UFO's and the like. Unfortunately, actual conspiracies aren't all that common. Pulling books/movies/tv shows is fairly common in negotiations, when both sides are playing hard ball. Happens all the time in cable TV. Heck, Amazon pulled some publishers in a similar dispute in 2012 -

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/0...ks-in-dispute/

Penguin played hard ball with Amazon with regards to ebooks. Kind of hard to call it a conspiracy though. By definition, a conspiracy requires more than one actor.
A further requirement for a "conspiracy" is secrecy.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:41 PM   #20
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Note that when MacMillan first told AMAZON they had to swallow agency, like it or not, they only did it because Apple assured them the other publishers were onboard.
As the court evidence proved, none of them had the guts to act independently.
So it *wasn't* just MacMillan or just Penguin.
There was upfront coordination through Apple on the terms all of them were going to present to Amazon and MacMillan told Amazon exactly that, thinking they would quietly cave in.

What they didn't know was that Random House had squealed to Amazon months earlier, which is why Bezos pulled all the MacMillan books for a few days and then issued the public statement about how they were being forced to raise prices by the publishers. And why RH stayed away from iBooks until forced in.

Both RH and Amazon knew how to avoid crossing the legal line and played their cards beautifully; both raked in the benefits of the conspiracy and avoided all legal liability.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:38 PM   #21
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What court evidence? As far as I know, there wasn't any. Zero evidence of upfront coordination and testimony by the people involved that there wasn't any. Of course, Judge Cote basically said she didn't believe that testimony, but that doesn't mean that there was evidence to the contrary.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:00 AM   #22
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Judge Says Price-Fixing Suit Filed by Retailers Can Proceed
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Apple and the publishers had sought to have the case tossed, but in a 22-page opinion, Cote ruled that the retailer was entitled to its day in court. In addition, the DNAML case will likely be joined by two related cases, one filed by Lavoho, LLC, a "successor" to the Diesel eBook Store; and another from Abbey House Media, formerly BooksOnBoard. In her order, Cote scheduled a pretrial conference for July 25, that is to include Lavoho and Abbey House, at which the parties are to discuss “a schedule for fact discovery, and settlement talks,” as well as confer on a proposed schedule. She also lifted a discovery stay.
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Although Cote in her opinion said proving damages was going to be difficult “in the extreme” for the DNAML, she held that the plaintiff’s case met the standard to proceed. But while Cote suggested that proving damages might be difficult, she added that DNAML’s “lost investment,” in its business “may be reasonably quantifiable.”
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:09 PM   #23
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I am shock, shocked I tell you that Judge Cote ruled that way.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:28 PM   #24
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I am shock, shocked I tell you that Judge Cote ruled that way.
I heart anti-Apple judges
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:37 PM   #25
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It's interesting that Diesel and BoB are saying that Agency pricing hurt them, but Kobo is saying the lack of it is hurting them.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:59 PM   #26
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It's interesting that Diesel and BoB are saying that Agency pricing hurt them, but Kobo is saying the lack of it is hurting them.
Not strange.
Price fixing helps the entrenched players. Kobo wants agency in Canada because they're top dog. In the US agency got them exactly nowhere.
Amazon on the other hand lost nothing significant.
Even Apple, with a prenegotiated agency deal took nothing from amazon, only from the other epub vendors. Which is where the lawsuits are coming from.
They aimed at Amazon and hit everybody else.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:03 AM   #27
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Not strange.
Price fixing helps the entrenched players. Kobo wants agency in Canada because they're top dog. In the US agency got them exactly nowhere.
Amazon on the other hand lost nothing significant.
Even Apple, with a prenegotiated agency deal took nothing from amazon, only from the other epub vendors. Which is where the lawsuits are coming from.
They aimed at Amazon and hit everybody else.
Once more, no matter how many times people assert it, agency pricing is NOT PRICE FIXING. All it means is that the publisher gets to set the price. Each publisher is free to set their own price. The real anti-trust fall out in all this is that by turning anti-trust and monopoly on it head with their rather novel re-interpretation of the existing laws, the Justice Department and Judge Cote have enabled Amazon to gather more and more market share. It should surprise no one that Amazon is using their dominate market position to strong arm suppliers. This sort of thing is what happens when the government tries to pick winners and losers.

And of course, it should surprise no one that the lawyers are circling Apple looking for a big payday and pushing to get things going before the original case is heard by the appeals court. They are hoping that they can get Apple to give them some money to go away before any potentially advice rulings come out. The next step will be the lawyers making a discovery demanding to see every email send by an Apple employee since Apple was started or some such level of legal harassment. The whole point is to be so annoying that Apple will give them money to go away.

Last edited by pwalker8; 06-11-2014 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:07 AM   #28
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Once more, no matter how many times people assert it, agency pricing is NOT PRICE FIXING.
Sure it is. It's exactly price fixing. It's just not illegal by itself.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:11 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
Once more, no matter how many times people assert it, agency pricing is NOT PRICE FIXING. All it means is that the publisher gets to set the price. Each publisher is free to set their own price. The real anti-trust fall out in all this is that by turning anti-trust and monopoly on it head with their rather novel re-interpretation of the existing laws, the Justice Department and Judge Cote have enabled Amazon to gather more and more market share. It should surprise no one that Amazon is using their dominate market position to strong arm suppliers. This sort of thing is what happens when the government tries to pick winners and losers.

And of course, it should surprise no one that the lawyers are circling Apple looking for a big payday and pushing to get things going before the original case is heard by the appeals court. They are hoping that they can get Apple to give them some money to go away before any potentially advice rulings come out. The next step will be the lawyers making a discovery demanding to see every email send by an Apple employee since Apple was started or some such level of legal harassment. The whole point is to be so annoying that Apple will give them money to go away.
It is illegal when the companies conspire together to fix the price.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:36 AM   #30
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It is illegal when the companies conspire together to fix the price.
Apache
And when the lead conspirator gets a 3-6 month lead on the new terms compared to the smaller independent bookstores.

When the conspiracy kicked in, Apple had its contracts all lined up from day one. Everybody else had theirs revoked and had to *start* negotiating new ones. Fictionwise never did.
Diesel had to get by for months on indie titles and lost most of their non-romance regulars. That let them muddle through, but at the absolute peak of US ereader adoption in 2010 they had no BPH titles to sell.

The exact amount of damages may be very hard to quantify but that they were damaged by the illegal conspiracy is easy to document. Which is why the case proceeds.
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