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Apple Colluded on eBook Prices, Judge Finds (Reuters)
In a sweeping rejection of Apple Inc’s strategy for selling electronic books on the Internet, a federal judge ruled that the company conspired with five major publishers to raise eBook prices. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan found “compelling evidence” that Apple violated federal antitrust law by playing a “central role” in a conspiracy with the publishers to eliminate retail price competition and raise eBook prices. GalleyCat “After carefully weighing the evidence, the court agreed with the Justice Department and 33 state attorneys general that executives at the highest levels of Apple orchestrated a conspiracy with five major publishers — Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster — to raise eBook prices,” the DOJ said in a statement. “Through [Wednesday's] court decision and previous settlements with five major publishers, consumers are again benefitting from retail price competition and paying less for their eBooks.” Fortune Apple has announced that it will appeal Cote’s decision. And if it’s to prevail in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals or — if it comes to that — the Supreme Court, it will be on the strength or weakness of her responses to the six major arguments Apple raised in its defense. NYT The verdict in the Apple case might have been a foregone conclusion, telegraphed by the judge herself, but it emphatically underlined how the traditional players in the book business have been upended. Only Amazon, led by Jeff Bezos, seems to have a plan. He is executing it with a skill that infuriates his competitors and rewards his stockholders. paidContent Judge Cote plans to schedule a separate hearing to determine damages and other consequences for Apple. These could be stayed pending appeal. Because all of the publishers in the case have settled and have entered into new agreements with Apple, it is unclear what kinds of changes Apple could be forced to make. There are a few possible answers, however, in a government pre-trial brief.
Posts Tagged ‘ebooks’
If the title “eBook Summit” conjures up a vision of publishing industry executives, agents and writers, well, you’re not that far off. But we were also not surprised to see that there is a lot that journalists and news organizations can take away from the panels at today’s mediabistro.com eBook Summit — and not just those journalists who have written books or hope to someday. In fact, we believe e-readers will have a huge impact on the print media world — not just the publishing world — in the New Year.
We sat in on a panel this morning that featured Jennifer Stenger, who oversees licensing and business development for mobile markets for the Associated Press. She spoke about the AP’s expansion into providing its content on mobile devices and e-readers. This is a shift for the AP, she said, because the organization has traditionally just provided news content to other news organizations who then repackage it and distribute it to readers or viewers. Now, the AP can tap these users directly, so it is learning what information people want and how they want to get it. “It gives us something we’ve never had before, which is a direct connection to users,” she said.
Also surprising to the AP, she said, was that readers were willing to pay for content on their e-readers. Where traditionally information on the Internet has been given away for free, making online readers less inclined to pay for it, e-reader users were willing to shill out to get information specially curated for them.
“It was kind of a surprise to us that they wanted to charge [for e-reader content], because news on the Web is free and no one wants to pay for the news anymore,” Stenger said. “And not only did they want to charge, they wanted to charge per category of news. We thought this would never work, no one would ever want to pay. But on the contrary, people are willing to pay for what they want, and most of what they are paying for is convenience.”