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Old 02-12-2010, 01:50 PM   #16
LCF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by =X= View Post
That is a very misleading title, I thought there was going to be some real hard data presented, instead it's a MacMillian author's account.

I didn't bother reading the blog, but I'll use my ESP abilities to summarize the blog and say the author will justify the higher price, defend Macmillian, and pooh-pooh on Amazon.

=X=
Well, I did bother reading the blog. And I found it very informative. I admit, it was the first entry I read on this subject, so perhaps it's my trusty nature, that says, there is some truth in what the man wrote. And if I try to summarize the price aspect of the entry, mr. Buckell stands for:

Dynamic eBook prices.

And there is a huge difference between permanently higher price (as I understand your post, please correct me, if I'm wrong), and price that starts high and drops as time passes.

Finally, about the title: You're right, it might mislead. I'll correct it (again).
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:02 PM   #17
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Totally misleading since it's based on a misrepresentation. The author keeps on referring to Amazon's price-fixing but Amazon was doing no such thing.

Amazon was simply selling at $9.99 - it was completely open to others to sell at $7.99 or $15.99 or any other price, so the price was not fixed.

It is Macmillan that is price fixing. I'm amazed that in a free-market economy such as the US it's even legal. 'Retail price maintenance' was banned in the UK decades ago.

Publishers can sell to retailers (and the public if they so desire) at whatever price they choose but they should have no power to dictate the price at which goods are resold.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCF View Post
Well, I did bother reading the blog. And I found it very informative. I admit, it was the first entry I read on this subject, so perhaps it's my trusty nature, that says, there is some truth in what the man wrote. And if I try to summarize the price aspect of the entry, mr. Buckell stands for:

Dynamic eBook prices.

And there is a huge difference between permanently higher price (as I understand your post, please correct me, if I'm wrong), and price that starts high and drops as time passes.
Sure. The problem is that this is what he says; as he both has no reason to act (in the future) according to what he says here, and, more importantly, that MacMillan has no reason whatsoever to comply with his wishes about dynamic pricing, this post is very misleading in that it implies that his opinion on this matter actually matters.
The reason you don't give Publishers control over pricing is because they do not have access to the retail figures (unless they also demand access to that), or at best have access to retail figures that are weeks outdated. This results in an enormously less flexible market, which generally isn't very good for the products being sold in it.
Still, it's of course their prerogative to kill the market, but it doesn't really seem rational that they would want to do so.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argel View Post
It is Macmillan that is price fixing. I'm amazed that in a free-market economy such as the US it's even legal. 'Retail price maintenance' was banned in the UK decades ago.
The "US" doesn't so much like free-market economics, as they dislike anything that can be characterized/tarred as "regulation". This means that anything that's historical is assumed to be good, whereas any changes (even changes that promote competition and fair play) are looked at with suspicion. This means that publishers will be able to characterize "banning price fixing" as "government nannying, not letting the market do its job" (note: It doesn't matter at all that this is a rather unfair characterization, it's soundbites that count), and hit a nerve with consumers/legislators.
And that's the way the cookie crumbles, sadly.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgalbrecht View Post
In some ways, I'm really surprised that these guys were so gung-ho in defending MacMillan.
Why? Amazon cut off access to the author's paper books, and was thus impacted by the way Amazon chose to handle the situation.

Besides, I know not many MR posters realize this, but not all authors despise their publishers, nor should they unless they're treated poorly.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:30 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by millicent View Post
Now that they have gotten Amazon to agree to the agency model for ebooks why not make them agree to it for the traditional print media also? Many years ago in the UK we had a price fixing system called the Net Book Agreement. This meant that the publisher put a sticker price on a book, and that was the price at which it had to be sold, whether through a large chain bookstore (who could negotiate big discounts) or by a small town independent bookstore (who couldn't).
Prior to the the Bush conservative Supreme Court, minimum pricing was illegal. A manufacturer could set a maximum price at which an item could be sold but not a minimum. With the ascent of the conservative perspective, minimum pricing has been approved. Although we may not have been very cognizant of it outside the ebook pricing, it really was evident in the minimal discounting that occurred (and occurs) with Sony Readers. It is also evident in other electronic sales. It was only a matter of time until it was applied to ebooks. As usual the conservative revolution is a revolution for those who are big political donors, not for the little person.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:51 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
Prior to the the Bush conservative Supreme Court, minimum pricing was illegal. A manufacturer could set a maximum price at which an item could be sold but not a minimum. With the ascent of the conservative perspective, minimum pricing has been approved. Although we may not have been very cognizant of it outside the ebook pricing, it really was evident in the minimal discounting that occurred (and occurs) with Sony Readers. It is also evident in other electronic sales. It was only a matter of time until it was applied to ebooks. As usual the conservative revolution is a revolution for those who are big political donors, not for the little person.
Ummm....the liberal revolution was the same way.... with things like longer and longer copyright extensions...
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:13 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argel View Post
Totally misleading since it's based on a misrepresentation. The author keeps on referring to Amazon's price-fixing but Amazon was doing no such thing.
Call it what you want. Selling things at a loss to force out the competition and then force the suppliers to lower the price seems to me to be a kind of price fixing.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:16 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
Prior to the the Bush conservative Supreme Court, minimum pricing was illegal. A manufacturer could set a maximum price at which an item could be sold but not a minimum. With the ascent of the conservative perspective, minimum pricing has been approved. Although we may not have been very cognizant of it outside the ebook pricing, it really was evident in the minimal discounting that occurred (and occurs) with Sony Readers. It is also evident in other electronic sales. It was only a matter of time until it was applied to ebooks. As usual the conservative revolution is a revolution for those who are big political donors, not for the little person.
Seriously?
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tompe View Post
Call it what you want. Selling things at a loss to force out the competition and then force the suppliers to lower the price seems to me to be a kind of price fixing.
Did Amazon actually succeed in forcing anyone out of the ebook market? You have to be able to show that this happened before you can claim that this was Amazon's goal.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:26 PM   #26
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Prior to the the Bush conservative Supreme Court, minimum pricing was illegal. A manufacturer could set a maximum price at which an item could be sold but not a minimum.
Are you sure? I remember working in the housewares department of a "discount' store in the early 70's.

Rubbermaid (a plastics manufacturer) and Corning were both 'fair trade' items

We were not allowed, by law to charge anything other than what they decided for any item from their line. This was nationwide.

No matter which store you went into, the price was the same.

Thats no longer true, of course.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:33 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by tompe View Post
Call it what you want. Selling things at a loss to force out the competition and then force the suppliers to lower the price seems to me to be a kind of price fixing.
Call it what you like.

I'm a customer. Last week I could buy xxx book for $9.99. next month the SAME book will cost me $15.99. NOTHING has changed except Macmillan says I HAVE TO pay 30% more!

THAT is why copyright monopolies are a bad thing. Amazon called it right when they said they had 'no choice' but to capitulate.

If I were Amazon, I'd stop selling Macmillan books forever.

Macmillan can fix the price it sells it's product to for any retailer. Once the retailer pays the publisher, the retailer can give the damn thing away if it chooses to do so.

What next? Macmillan to dictate how much second hand books can be sold for?
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:36 PM   #28
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Seriously?
You do wear rose colored glasses , don't you?

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Old 02-12-2010, 03:39 PM   #29
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As usual the conservative revolution is a revolution for those who are big political donors, not for the little person.
Oh, please....
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:15 PM   #30
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Is the link still available in the OP? Says it cannot connect to the database????
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