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Posts tagged price fixing

Norway pursues possible publisher cartel favoring own book chains
April 15, 2014 | 4:25 pm

Norway flagAfter the reports of Amazon entering the Swedish market amid possible restricted competition, now Scandinavian neighbor Norway has reportedly seen a crackdown on anti-competitive practices in the local book trade. According to the Norwegian press reports, the Norwegian Competition Authority (Konkurransetilsynet) has raided the offices of the country's big four publishing houses - Aschehoug, Cappelen, Gyldendal, and Schibsted - to investigate a possible cartel designed to restrict book supply to supermarkets and other outlets in favor of the publishers' own-branded book chains. Norway has a highly restricted publishing and book market that might facilitate such abuse. As per research in Regionalism...

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...

Appeals court denies Apple request to stay anti-trust monitor
February 11, 2014 | 11:23 am

The appeals court has issued its ruling on Apple’s request to have the anti-trust monitor stayed in the e-book price-fixing anti-trust trial. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple’s appeal has been denied. That being said, the appeals court did issue what it saw as instructions “narrowing” the monitor’s focus. The monitor is, the court said, supposed to make sure Apple has an anti-trust compliance program in place and that employees are being taught about what it means and how it works. He is not supposed to rummage around looking for violations of anti-trust or other laws. In the two-page document (PDF), court...

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...

Apple to Allow Rival E-Book Retailers to Provide Direct Links to Content
August 2, 2013 | 6:41 pm

I didn't see this coming, although in hindsight, I should have. The DOJ and 33 state attorney generals just published their proposed remedies in the Apple price fixing case. Most of it was expected: ending existing contracts with retailers and appointing an external monitor to ensure they don't slip again. But check out this one: "Apple will also be prohibited from entering into agreements with suppliers of e-books, music, movies, television shows or other content that are likely to increase the prices at which Apple’s competitor retailers may sell that content. To reset competition to the conditions that existed before the conspiracy, Apple...

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...

Penguin Cries Uncle for the EU
July 27, 2013 | 1:10 pm

PenguinFresh from covering itself with ignominy through Author Solutions, Penguin has promised it will play nice in Europe over pricing, with an offer to the European Union to end the price-fixing practices highlighted by the recent Apple anti-trust case in the US, which the European Commission deemed acceptable last week. "After our decision of December 2012, the commitments are now legally binding on Apple AAPL +0.57% and all five publishers including Penguin, restoring a competitive environment in the market for e-books," announced Joaquín Almunia, the European Commission vice president in charge of competition policy. All the other publishers under investigation, Hachette Livre...

Morning Roundup: Robert Bolano’s “2666″ released as e-book for the first time
July 11, 2013 | 9:25 am

Morning RoundupRoberto Bolano's "2666" released as e-book for the first time (LA Times) Roberto Bolano did not live to see his book "2666" become an American bestseller. Nor did he make it to the popularization of e-books -- he died 10 years ago, on May 15, 2003. On Tuesday, "2666" saw its debut as an e-book. * * * Food trucks inspire mobile bookstore (Detroit News) By combining the concepts of bookmobile and food truck, book-publisher Penguin Group (USA) recently introduced its first mobile bookstore. And just like a good book, there’s a bonus inside: the Penguin Book Pushcart, which rolls out of the truck and down a...

Motley Fool Uses Apple Anti-Trust Suit to Scare People into Paying It
June 18, 2013 | 5:08 pm

no foolinDisclaimer: I’m not a lawyer or high-falutin’ financial analyst, and this is my personal opinion, not TeleRead’s. I just call them as I see them. I ran across this article from Motley Fool blogger Mark Hibben, and felt it was worth calling out as the example of arrant fear-profiteering it is. I could sum up the article thus: “DOOM! DOOOOOOM! (By the way, pay us.)” To be fair, the post opens with a reasonably cogent and accurate summary of the issues surrounding the Apple anti-trust case, not unlike the one I posted a few days ago. But it goes off the rails...

Morning Roundup: Happy Birthday, Richard Scarry!
June 6, 2013 | 9:00 am

Morning RoundupTo See the Value of Social Media, Watch What Happened in Turkey When Local Media Failed (Paid Content) Social media and tools like Twitter have come under fire during real-time news events because critics say they spread misinformation — but in places like Istanbul they can be a lifeline when the traditional media is ineffective. --- Happy Birthday, Richard Scarry! (GalleyCat) Happy Birthday Richard Scarry! To celebrate the famous kid’s author’s 94th birthday today, we’ve rounded up our favorite Scarry links below… --- Penguin's David Shanks Testifies at Apple Trial (Publisher's Weekly) The second day of the Apple e-book price-fixing trial continued with the government’s continued focus on Apple...

Is anyone still paying attention to the DOJ/ebook antitrust case?
May 18, 2013 | 12:47 pm

DOJ vs. AppleI guess I'd forgotten. Now that all the the publishing players have settled, abandoning agency pricing and returning to the wholesale slums, the DOJ/e-book antitrust case, which popped up again in everyone's news feeds this week, feels a little anticlimactic. The DOJ, perhaps simply because it's what it found, or perhaps because there's no one left to pick on, is framing the last defendant standing, Apple, as the "ringmaster" in the price-fixing suit, according the New York Times. With the case set to go to trial June 3 in New York (and what a fine note on which to end BEA), I find myself wondering: At...