Justice Department files antitrust lawsuit against Apple, e-book publishers

By Shawn Knight · 14 replies
Apr 11, 2012
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  1. The Department of Justice has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and two major publishers over e-book price-fixing. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern…

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  2. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 953   +515

    Apple trying to get even more money out of consumers?? Nooooo, that's impossible. They would never do such a thing just to get more profits than they should.....
  3. If Apple == isGreedy && powerHungry
  4. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    What a shocker!! Apple getting sued for scamming their own customers. Doesnt really surprise me tbh. Apple tends to ignore the Law in order to make more profit. What gets me is the fact that ONLY the corporate bigwigs made these decisions. No Board of Directors. That means that from the top down Apple is crooked!!
  5. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    Doh! They want that $1000 per share too bad.
  6. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    The whole situation with e-book marketing is just screwy, to be honest. Publishers want to maintain some level of profit margin, to cover their expenses (paying the writer, advertising, etc), so I can understand their motives. Apple, well we all know they want to make money anywhere and anyway they can, so their motives aren't any kind of secret. And, as much as I might dislike the way they went about it, there is a lot to the story that isn't being sensationalized as much as the "Evil Apple strikes again" types of headlines. Like, for example, the fact that publishers stand to make less per e-book sale with the "agency" model than the "wholesale" model. Part of the problem is that Google started selling e-books for a loss to help push their Kindle to dominance, and the ultra-low pricing sort of stuck in the consumer mindset. Other distribution systems couldn't compete on price versus Google undercutting the entire industry. Yet, interestingly enough, Google didn't get any "anti-competitive" backlash or lawsuits for their actions, which were damaging an entire industry...

    It's just a big hairy ball of mess, the entire situation. I'd love to pay less for my e-books, but they have to sell for enough to keep the publishers (and writers) in business, or there won't BE any e-books to buy. Until, of course, the independent publishing system really kicks up hard, and the publishers themselves become obsolete. Which, by the way, their "agency" model of pricing would likely have helped accelerate, if consumers voted with their money rather than their loyalty.
  7. TechM633

    TechM633 TS Rookie Posts: 33

    Hmmm....I am torn here. I dont like Apple and love to see them get their just desserts. However, I also dont like our current Justice Dept. with Eric Holder and would love to see them eat their communist manitfestos page by page.

    I am not sure who to support here.

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend......I guess? lol.....
  8. @Vrmithrax

    The problem is when all the major companies secretly work together to artificially control the price in an industry is most cases illegal (Collusion). What is a real red flag is how the electronic version of books can be sometimes higher then the physical copy on some books even.

    The publishers AND apple are very guilty, not just apple alone. There a video out there during the ipad 1 launch (after conference / meet & greet among apple staff and reports, etc) where someone asked steve jobs a bunch of questions and one of them was about the higher price then amazon and competing and steve jobs came out and said they will be the same price to him.
  9. So if apple wants 30% for people to ride their success. How is that apples fault? I don't get this. Apple asks for 30% from book publishers. Book publishers instead of taking that as operation cost jack up the price to be able to sell like anywhere else and get the same money but this all of the sudden makes apple greedy and power hungry. A bunch of insane people in this forum.
  10. Another thing is. How is this illegal to set your own price of a product and have consumers pay any price for something? This is insane. I will go out and tell you that you cannot form partnerships and cannot discus price increase. For it is too expensive. People buy it but it is your fault? Where is this going. The government just don't know when to quit sticking nose into others dodo. Many times the police and government tell you its out of their jurisdiction and other times it is too much. Wow. This is so interesting. How about letting the government make Chinese products illegal. And only american products can be sold. So we can have a country that actually able to employ people to manufacture stuff. That is where we need ya mr government.
  11. Finally! Someone needs to deal with Apple.

    Now they need to focus on the price fixing between Western Digital and Seagate; the most blatant price fixing in recent memory!
  12. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    I have a Kindle that I love, but I'm rather irritated at the e-book pricing scheme in general. It seems to me that an e-book should be less expensive than a paper back. You don't have to pay for any physical thing to be printed, shipped or stored. Just to store 1 copy of the data on a server and the bandwidth for people to download it.
    It seems to me then e-books should be a couple bucks cheaper than regular paperbacks. But they aren't. And if they release the paper back as on of those obnoxious "oversize paperbacks" that are an extra 2" taller or so, they charge $2 more for the paperback and $2 more for the e-book. Does that make any sense to anyone!!!
  13. Fanboyz need to remember this everytime they buy an overpriced iPad, iPhone, iPad, etc. With Apple it has always been about the money. GO APPLE!!!!
  14. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    E-Books started out cheaper. But the moment ppl got all hot and bothered over the Nook and the Kindle Fire, prices shot through the roof. I agree Apple and Amazon both need to be investigated. You already purchased the device to read the books on. Why charge that much for what is basically just a copy. Most writers are useing a PC to write with. The days of typewriters being long behind us. So there shouldnt be much of a cost for the publishers. Ok they have to pay an editor to read the book. None of the costs for making an E-Book justifies the cost the consumer pays.
    Its a rip off. You should just buy the paperback book and give your money to the publishers instead of E-Books.
  15. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    I used to have the "e-books should be cheap, it's a rip off" attitude as well, until I befriended a few writers and found out some interesting things... Like the fact that the actual printing process is a very small fraction in the overall cost of a physical book (often much less than 10%). Most of the price of a printed book goes into marketing, paying the writers, publisher fees, etc. That overhead and required profit margin to keep in business do not change when the format of the book is different (physical vs. e-book). Publishing books IS a business, after all, so some margin has to be cleared in order to keep business running. No publishers, no books to read.

    Now, that's not saying that some of the "overhead" isn't remarkably inflated in the industry, or that some individuals aren't being over-valued for their contributions. But, the fact is that expenditure levels have been established over many years in the publishing game, and expectations have risen to match that level. You can't just stomp into a room and demand that everyone take a pay cut because there is a new electronic format, when all of the work BEHIND the book is virtually identical to printed books. The electronic medium (along with internet distribution) is already taking down corporations that were built on books (Borders, for example)... Messing with peoples' livelihoods is usually met with strenuous opposition, so I wouldn't hold my breath in anticipation of the whole e-book vs printed book pricing situation being easily resolved.

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