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Posts tagged agency pricing

Can publishers win if they dare?
May 31, 2014 | 12:29 pm

primematrixDare - dare to believe you can survive You hold the future in your hand Dare - dare to keep all of your dreams alive It's time to take a stand And you can win, if you dare —Stan Bush, “Dare” That seems to be the chorus that publisher advocates are singing these days: as publishers fight against the evil market-devouring Amazon much as the Transformers fought the evil world-devouring Unicron, the publishers...

Publishing consultants want to foster competition among retailers by making consumers miserable
May 29, 2014 | 6:40 pm

I’m not a publishing industry “insider.” I admit that. I know I pontificate from time to time, and have opinions very strongly expressed, but sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m “just” a consumer and a very interested onlooker who’s been observing the field from the outside for the last ten or fifteen years. From my perspective, it often seems like publishing industry folks don’t seem to know what they’re doing. Nonetheless, you know the old saying about what is done by those who can and those who can’t. I keep telling myself, this is how these...

Konrath vs. Stross on the Amazon/Hachette affair
May 27, 2014 | 4:37 am

So, more people have chimed in on the Amazon/Hachette thing. Most notably, Charlie Stross has blogged about it. Given that he’s published by Orbit, a subsidiary of Hachette, it’s understandable that his point of view is rather similar to Lilith Saintcrow’s: Amazon is a “malignant monopoly” engaging in predatory pricing, bullying Hachette, and so forth. Joe Konrath and pseudonymous guest blogger William Ockham have a different point of view. Konrath posted an essay to his blog in which they demolish Stross’s arguments point by point. Most of it is the same argument/counter-argument we’ve been hearing over and...

Steve Jobs may have escaped criminal charges due to ‘reality distortion field’
May 3, 2014 | 3:50 pm

Why didn’t Apple executives (or, for that matter, the publishers) face criminal charges in the antitrust lawsuit stemming from agency pricing? Until now, the theory I had heard was that it was because none of the actions the publishers or Apple had taken was illegal by itself—there were no examples of bribery, falsifying documents, or any other overtly criminal activity. Everything they did would have been legal if they’d only done it by themselves; the antitrust violation came about because they got together and elected to do it all at once. However, this New York Times article asks the...

Publishers go off deep end, pay consultant to tell them what they want to hear
April 3, 2014 | 1:24 pm

Diogenes-statue-Sinop-enhancedSo, let me get this straight. Frank Luby, a consultant speaking at Digital Book World, says that e-books are more convenient than printed books, and therefore, they should cost more. Is this some kind of a joke? Apparently not; it was posted April 2, and people elsewhere seem to be taking it seriously. This is so wrong I hardly even know where to begin. It’s true that I can see how publishers would want to hear what this guy has to say. Basically, he’s telling them only what they already believe themselves. And it’s a belief they...

Apple anti-trust plaintiffs want summary judgment on damages, trial to stay where it is
March 10, 2014 | 1:04 pm

Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly has details on the plaintiffs’ latest filings in the Apple anti-trust case. In brief, the attorneys argue that Judge Cote has enough evidence to decide on Apple’s damages in summary judgment, without needing a trial. It’s already a well-established fact that consumers were harmed; the only question is how much the damages should be, and most experts, including Apple’s own, tend to come pretty close to the same figure on those. They also reject Apple’s request to separate the trials and move them back to their original venues. It’s too late in the game...

Kobo dominance in Canada: good luck or good business?
March 9, 2014 | 2:32 pm

Kobo Dominance in CanadaI've long chalked up Kobo's success in Canada at least partly to good business: they're aces at local content, have a huge presence in Canadian retail thanks to their origins as a subsidiary of our major bookstore chain, Indigo, and recently they were acquired by the deep pockets at Rakuten, a leader in the Asian market. Two recent articles, however, suggest that Kobo's successes to date have been more a result of good timing than anything else. Nate at The Digital Reader wrote a great summary of Kobo's recent wranglings with the Canadian Competition Bureau. A day later, Michael at GoodeReader...

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...

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