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Bob Kohn files appeal of publisher anti-trust settlements

Posted By Chris Meadows On December 23, 2013 @ 6:10 pm In Chris Meadows,ebook,legal,Macmillan,Penguin,publishing | 4 Comments

Ah, the schadenfreude continues. Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly reports that Bob Kohn has filed his appeal of the approval of the Macmillan and Penguin e-book settlements [1]. In the hearing a couple of weeks ago, Judge Cote suggested it was unlikely he would be found to have standing to appeal the case [2], since he’s not a direct party to the case. However, Kohn is clearly going to keep filing appeals until the appeals courts turn him down.

Kohn’s stance is that the price-fixing conspiracy entered into by the publishers and Apple was not actually illegal, since it served to address “inefficiencies” in the market. He suggests that, despite the higher prices, consumers benefited from the change because it made the e-book market more efficient.

Kohn also argued that, if he is not given standing to appeal, the settlements will not face any appeal scrutiny at all on behalf of consumers. After all, Apple, which is appealing its own case, is not involved in the publisher settlements. And while the publishers surely agree with Kohn’s view that their actions were legal, they are not about to challenge their own settlement deals.

I must admit, I kind of hope Kohn is found to have standing, just because it would be interesting to see how the case goes. But my suspicion is that the appeals court will feel, as Cote does, that he is not involved enough to have a say.


4 Comments (Open | Close)

4 Comments To "Bob Kohn files appeal of publisher anti-trust settlements"

#1 Comment By Bara Minata On December 23, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

Amazon’s market share went down NOT because of the agency pricing but because the others players finally really got into the ebook market. Ebook prices almost uniformly raised BECAUSE of the illegal price fixing.

When will these dinos stop claiming BS such as “for the benefit of the customers” and admit that what they’re protecting is really their own wallets?

#2 Comment By Chris Meadows On December 24, 2013 @ 4:23 am

Well, Kohn’s argument goes that agency pricing caused other players to get into the ebook market, because they no longer had to fear Amazon undercutting them. I can see where he’s coming from, even if I don’t agree on the value to consumers.

#3 Comment By Nate Hoffelder, editor of The Digital Reader On December 24, 2013 @ 6:36 am

I’m not attacking you Chris, but:

So Kohn thinks the agency pricing in 2010 caused Kobo and B&N to get into ebooks in 2009? Really?

#4 Comment By Juli Monroe On December 24, 2013 @ 8:53 am

@Nate, the “agency pricing allowed B&N to enter and be competitive in the eBooks market” story has been around long enough and written about by enough people that it has reached the status of TRUTH in many minds. (Heck, I bought into it for a while.) It allows the publishing industry to continue to vilify Amazon and hold B&N up as a white knight, and that’s a stance many want to be true. When you want something to be true badly enough, you ignore all facts to the contrary.


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URL to article: http://www.teleread.com/ebooks/bob-kohn-files-appeal-of-publisher-anti-trust-settlements/

URLs in this post:

[1] Bob Kohn has filed his appeal of the approval of the Macmillan and Penguin e-book settlements: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/60476-bob-kohn-appeals-penguin-macmillan-e-book-settlements.html

[2] Judge Cote suggested it was unlikely he would be found to have standing to appeal the case: http://www.teleread.com/ebooks/apple-calls-shenanigans-on-anti-trust-monitor-bob-kohn-gets-his-day-in-court/

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