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Posts tagged agency pricing

Apple files opening brief in e-book anti-trust trial appeal
February 26, 2014 | 7:12 pm

Ars Technica reports that Apple has filed a 75-page opening brief in its appeal of Judge Cote’s decision finding it guilty of engaging in a conspiracy with the publishers to help raise prices. The Ars article has a reasonable summary of Apple’s arguments. Fundamentally, many of them are the same arguments that lost it the case in trial court: it just negotiated the most favorable contract for itself, and couldn’t be blamed for what the publishers, busy little bees that they are, imposed on other retailers. It acted to increase competition by making it possible for new players...

Weekend Roundup: Failed attempt to turn Android tablet into eReader, Canada limits agency pricing
February 9, 2014 | 11:42 am

android tablet into ereaderLessons Learned From a Failed Attempt to Turn my Android Tablet into an eBook Reader (The Digital Reader) While it’s quite common to use an Android tablet as an ebook reader, few are designed to serve that process from the ground up. *** How to Replace Your Old Computer with a New iPad (GigaOM) When transitioning from a computer to the iPad there are still a few challenges that you will face along the way. Here are a few steps that may help you leave the personal computer era behind for good. *** Poorly Translated Public Domain Titles Removed from Amazon (GoodeReader) Now that anyone can self-publish...

Judge Cote denies Bob Kohn’s request to investigate Amazon’s pricing…again
November 16, 2013 | 10:47 pm

I wondered what had ever become of Bob Kohn, the plucky founder of RoyaltyShare who has been complaining all through the Agency Five/Apple antitrust hearings that nobody was paying enough attention to Amazon’s practice of deep discounting bestselling e-books. Kohn has consistently demanded (in comic book form at one point) the government be forced to turn over evidence relating to its probe into Amazon’s pricing, and that Amazon be required to open its books and show exactly what kind of profits or losses it was taking on e-books—and Judge Cote has consistently turned him down. Now Andrew Albanese reports at Publishers Weekly...

Judge Cote devises brave punishments for Apple in settlement hearing
August 9, 2013 | 8:25 pm

Apple and the publishers had their hearing before Judge Cote today on the penalties she’s considering imposing. There was more interesting news in the run-up to it, of course. First, GigaOm reports that the Department of Justice filed a response (available here as PDF) to the publishers’ en masse complaint about being punished twice. The response said, essentially, that they don’t want to do anything to the publishers, and all their proposals target Apple. And the DoJ even pointed out how similar the publishers’ argument was to Apple’s argument back when the publishers were settling, just as I did yesterday. And...

Interview: Publishers Weekly senior writer Andrew Richard Albanese discusses the Apple trial
July 29, 2013 | 7:26 pm

After I wrote my review of Publishers Weekly senior writer Andrew Richard Albanese’s (recently updated) e-book The Battle of $9.99 about the DoJ vs. Apple e-book trial, Publishers Weekly offered me a chance to interview Mr. Albanese. I came up with a number of questions and passed them along, and he answered them via email. We are looking into the possibility of further interviews in other formats. But for now, here are Mr. Albanese’s responses to my questions about the trial. In covering the Apple trial, what surprised you the most? This may sound like...

Amazon scrapes bottom, sells books cheaply to public, talks to Democrats
July 29, 2013 | 5:02 pm

AmazonJust when you thought they could sink no lower, Amazon has added fresh offenses to their litany of crimes. So you'd conclude, at any rate, from the scrupulously impartial, limpidly objective coverage of their head-to-head discounting battle with Overstock in The Bookseller and Shelf-Awareness. Indeed, if you believe the latter, all that's keeping those unscrupulous bad hats out of the courts is their overly chummy dealings with the Democrats. Yes, fresh from being pilloried for not discounting enough, Amazon is discounting too much again. Of course, Overstock didn't exactly help the situation by calling Amazon out, specifically advertising its limited-period discount run...

Apple anti-trust: Publishers not justified, and not special snowflakes either
July 16, 2013 | 4:24 am

As far as I know, I’m not closely related to Dan Meadows, who blogs at The Watershed Chronicles. (It’s possible we might both be descended from Revolutionary War soldier Israel Meadows, assuming his branch of the family didn’t come over from Britain more recently or something.) But it seems we share a number of similar opinions. Dan has made a couple of recent posts to his blog that make some interesting points. The first one looks at all the claims that Apple and the publishers were justified in their price-fixing because Amazon was acting the part of the evil...

Breaking news analysis? Advantage: E-books!
July 15, 2013 | 8:38 pm

You might remember my review of the Publishers Weekly Kindle Single e-book The Battle of $9.99 a couple of weeks back. The book summarized all the evidence and testimony that had been presented in the Apple e-books trial in a way that was cogent and easy to understand. Today I got word from Publishers Weekly that author Andrew Albanese has gone back and rewritten the end of the book to take into account the recent decision in the case and to ponder what it means for the future of e-books. The revised edition hits e-book stores tomorrow, and will...

Morning Roundup: Global privacy rules would be awesome … but good luck getting there
July 15, 2013 | 8:48 am

privacyGlobal Privacy Rules Would be Awesome (GigaOM) Feeling the heat ahead of federal elections, German chancellor Angela Merkel has called for unified data protection rules across Europe and, to a more limited extent, on a global scale. But is that even possible? * * * Did Agency Pricing Help Publishers, and If So, Will They Return to It? (Dear Author) Agency pricing was instituted ostensibly to increase competition and decrease Amazon’s control over the emerging digital book market. Publishers had three years in which  they were allowed to set prices in accordance with the pricing schedule imposed by Apple.  In the beginning of  2010...

Open letter to the Big Six publishers: Have you learned anything?
July 13, 2013 | 1:37 am

The publishing industry is all screwed up, and whose fault is that? Perhaps at least partly the fault of all the publishing execs who are stepping down right around now, blogger Agent Orange suggests in a post on FutureBook entitled “The Elephant in the Graveyard.” While they did great things in their time, they were too inculcated in the culture of bricks and mortar to be able to adapt to the potential of an electronic world. When the paradigm shifted, which significantly predates the global recession - Amazon first turned a profit way back in 2002...

The Apple e-book decision reaction roundup: Schadenfreude a go-go!
July 12, 2013 | 4:55 am

It’s been pretty fun, not to mention instructive, to read the various reactions to the e-book verdict over the last day or so. Sometimes it feels like I’ve wandered into a production of Rashomon. For example, AllThingsD summarizes the thoughts of anti-trust lawyers it asked for comment: Apple argued that the facts show no conspiracy in restraint of trade. But Cote found that the company’s actions were a per se violation of antitrust law. In other words, they were inherently illegal, so there was no need to prove that they had any anticompetitive effect on the...

Mike Shatzkin discusses publishers, agency royalties, books on shelves, and publisher relevance
June 27, 2013 | 9:15 am

Publishing industry veteran and consultant Mike Shatzkin weighs in on the agency royalty mess I mentioned a little while ago. He elaborates on what Brian DeFiore said about how the most successful authors are largely exempt from this, because their advances are calculated to come out to more money than their expected sales should generate, and discusses the agent community reaction to these revelations. The publishing industry is facing a hardscrabble battle with retailers for profit margins on book sales—since the less money the publisher makes, the more the store can make, and vice versa. Lest you thought Amazon...