When Netflix launched its DVD-by-mail service, it seemed like a no-brainer business model — pay a reasonable amount of money each month and never have to go to the video store again. Netflix successfully transitioned that model to streaming video and it’s now been parroted by others, and not just in the video business. Spotify, Google, Mog, and others have launched music services based on the Netflix model. It seems inevitable that Netflix-for-e-books is the next step, but are the pieces in place for it to work? [More]
Last week, the Justice Dept. offered its first proposal of how Apple should be punished now that it’s been found to have colluded with publishers to fix e-book prices. Among those suggestions is that Apple cancel its existing pricing arrangement with the publishers in question and that it not enter into similar arrangements for another five years. But publishers claim that this ultimately hurts the content providers and not the retailer. [More]
Though there are Kindle and Nook apps for iPhone and iPad, restrictions put in place by Apple prevent users from actually making e-book purchases via those apps without those companies having to pay a hefty commission to Apple. You can’t even see the prices Amazon and Barnes & Noble charge for e-books, thus making it difficult to comparison shop. But as part of the proposed remedies following Apple’s loss in the recent e-book price-fixing case, the Justice Dept. says consumers should have the option of buying e-books on iOS devices from Apple’s competition. [More]
It’s been an up and down sort of day for Apple — while it managed to make peace with its rival Amazon in the App Store vs. Appstore debate, it also suffered a pretty big hit by way of a guilty verdict in the antitrust civil trial over e-book price-fixing. A U.S. District judge ruled today that Apple broke antitrust laws and conspired with publishers to hike up the prices of e-books. [More]
Apple Exec: I Protected Consumers From High E-Book Prices By Letting Publishers Set High E-Book Prices
Earlier today, Apple executive Eddy Cue — the architect of the company’s iTunes and e-book business — took the stand in court to face questions about his company’s role in alleged price-fixing of the e-book market, where he admitted that Apple had actually mulled over an even worse idea than mere price-fixing. [More]
Given that Apple reshaped the music industry with the iPod, it’s still a bit of a surprise that it’s been so far behind the curve on launching its own streaming music service. But a new report claims that Apple is now closing deals that would clear the way for it to stream away, right into users’ ears. [More]
While all of the publishers involved in Justice Dept.’s e-book price-fixing lawsuit have settled, Apple has continued to maintain its innocence. With the trial set to begin in early June, the DOJ has some evidence it believes paints Apple in a rather damning light. [More]
After more than a year of squabbling with the European Commission in an anti-trust case involving Apple’s deals with five publishers that regulators called a conspiracy to fix the price of e-books, the last holdout might be close to settling up. Penguin has offered to ditch its e-book deal with Apple to end the antitrust probe.
Even though huge online players like Amazon and Apple are working on ways to provide users a marketplace to resell “used” digital downloads like mp3s and e-books, neither plan really deals with the most salient problem with reselling digital products — getting rid of the original copy. [More]
It’s one thing to tell a customer “no” when he asks for a price-reduction. It’s another to outright lie to try to avoid looking bad in the situation by blaming the manufacturer for your inability to offer the lower price. [More]
It sometimes feels like the price-fixing settlement between e-book publishers and the government has been stretching on for forever. But it now seems Amazon is prepping Kindle customers for a potential, partial refund if they bought e-books between April 2010 and May 2012. That is if the court approves the settlements in various states.
While anyone with a Kindle or Nook knows they can download e-books from the Internet, not everyone is mindful of the fact that they are also sending information back to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (or Google, or Apple). It’s not just so that you can switch between your e-reader, laptop, phone and tablet without losing your bookmarks and notes; it’s also so that these e-book sellers can share this information with the publishers of the books you’re reading.
In the midst of a lawsuit from the Department of Justice, Apple is all, “What? Who? Us? Price fixing e-books? No! Never!” They issued a statement saying they weren’t involved in conspiring with major publishers to set the price of e-books in an agency model, and that anyway, agency models are a benefit to the industry.