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Posts tagged antitrust

Authors United to ask Department of Justice for Amazon antitrust inquiry
September 25, 2014 | 6:08 pm

So, Authors United’s latest publicity stunt is to declare they’re asking the Department of Justice to investigate Amazon for anti-trust issues in the wake of the continuing contract dispute with Hachette. (Publishers Weekly talks about it here, linking to a paywalled Financial Times article that you can read free by googling “Authors to call for Amazon antitrust inquiry” then clicking the FT article and answering a question.) They’re still in the process of drafting the letter; Douglas Preston says it was leaked “very prematurely.” The letter will ask the justice department’s antitrust division to “examine Amazon’s...

Looking back at Michael Bromwich’s report on Apple antitrust compliance
September 20, 2014 | 5:19 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve had much to say about the Apple antitrust suit. I’ve been a bit busy to write much for TeleRead in general, what with my new day job and things. Nate on The Digital Reader has some good coverage of the main points of interest: Apple Agrees to Pay $450 Million in eBook Antitrust Lawsuit Judge Okays Apple’s $450 Million eBook Antitrust Settlement Amazon Sends Out Email Concerning Apple’s Antitrust Settlement There’s also a new, related case in which three defunct e-book stores...

PACER to restore ten years of deleted records; is still obnoxiously expensive
September 20, 2014 | 9:37 am

pacerLogoI thought I’d mentioned this at the time it happened, but I apparently didn’t. Last month, the court records database PACER deleted ten years’ worth of electronic federal court documents in the course of a hardware update. This sparked an immediate backlash from lawmakers. Now Ars Technica reports that the US government Administrative Office of the Courts will return most of those files to the database by the end of October. It’s nice that they’re doing the right thing, but the shortcomings of the PACER system are aggravating. The system charges ten cents per downloaded page, including for lists...

Neil Gaiman ‘pissed at Amazon’ but not so sure about Hachette either
June 16, 2014 | 1:04 pm

GaimanWell, here’s another Salon Amazon hit piece, at least sort of. Salon chose to headline it, “Neil Gaiman: ‘I’m obviously pissed at Amazon’” but if you read the actual article, you find the quote was taken out of context. Gaiman feels that the anti-trust prosecution against the five major publishers and Apple was a bad move, but on the matter of Amazon versus Hachette, he is actually ambivalent: I’m a weird mixture right now, because on the one hand, I’m obviously pissed at Amazon. I’m a Hachette author in the U.K., my wife is a Hachette author now, and I’m very...

iBooks to be included with every iOS 8 device; will the DoJ take notice?
June 5, 2014 | 7:05 am

Apart from all the little features it’s swiping from Android (finally, widgets, custom keyboards, and cross-app sharing APIs!), the new iPhone OS 8 includes one little feature that Mark Coker of Smashwords believes will be a “game changer.” For the first time, iBooks will be bundled directly into every new iOS device sold. This might not seem like a big deal at first—iBooks has, after all, been available for four years to anyone who wants to download it—but never underestimate the laziness barrier. People who weren’t that “into” e-books might never have bothered to grab it on their...

David Gaughran: ‘Don’t believe the spin’ in Amazon vs. Hachette affair
May 26, 2014 | 11:04 am

David Gaughran has a great blog post looking at the Amazon/Hachette affair in a less “poor little Hachette” light. It’s good to see this piece join this other blog piece and this Forbes story pointing out that there’s another side to the matter than the one Hachette’s partisans are pushing. Gaughran points out there are multiple possible explanations for what we’re seeing. The problem is that we haven’t really heard any of them. Indeed, apart from a couple of non-detailed, PR-laden emails from Hachette, we haven’t heard much of anything from either side. And if...

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...

Judge Cote certifies consumer suits for class action in Apple antitrust case
March 29, 2014 | 7:45 am

Calling it a “paradigmatic antitrust class action,” Judge Denise Cote has granted class-action certification to the consumers whose suit against Apple makes up one third of the intricate bundle of cases she is presiding over in the Apple antitrust trial. (The other two thirds are, of course, the actions brought by the Department of Justice and the state attorneys general.) She also denied Apple’s request to disregard the plaintiff’s damage expert, and threw out the opinions of the experts Apple had consulted in regard to damages. Not many surprises there for anyone who’s been following the trial so far. ...

Wylie versus Amazon: Idiotic jibes about idiocy
March 19, 2014 | 10:25 am

Long on invective, short on logic. That's how you want your book trade jackals to be, it seems. Especially when they make "millions off highbrow." Highbrow, eh: whoo, classy. Well, Andrew Wylie's brow certainly looks pretty high in the photo from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that graces his latest interview with the German journal about his views on Amazon's new German-language publishing program. This is the man, remember, who dismissed Amazon readers as "fools." And even shorn of the original venom by Goole Translate, he obviously hasn't got any nicer in the interim. He describes Amazon's publishing program as "characterized by...

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...

New developments in Apple anti-trust trial: Apple accuses Judge Cote of bias; economists file amicus brief
March 6, 2014 | 4:22 pm

Here’s a twofer of Apple anti-trust suit stories. First, from Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly comes the news that a February 21 Apple filing opposing summary judgment in the damages phase has been made public, and it’s pretty clear the gloves are off. Apple is outright accusing Judge Cote of bias, claiming that statements she made in the order denying the antitrust monitor stay suggest she’s already decided what the damages should be. I wish I could find the filing; it doesn’t seem to be in PACER. I’d love to read it for myself. I’m pretty sure this...

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...