Apple’s to DOJ: Publishers already decided to fix prices before iBookstore came along

Image (1) iBookstore1.jpg for post 30622

In the ongoing e-book price fixing case with the Department of Justice, in which Apple is accused of conspiring with publishers to fix eBook pricing and cut out Amazon, Apple has again responded to the DOJ’s claims detailing the “tough negotiations” it went through with publishers. To further prove its point that it was not colluding with publishers to fix e-book pricing, Apple said it “one-on-one” and “contentious negotiations” at a time when publishers were already considering methods of getting Amazon to increase pricing: Read more

Apple explains stance on e-book price fixing and the ‘Kindle threat’ in court documents

Yesterday, reports from The Wall Street Journal claimed the United States Justice Department was planning to launch an antitrust case against Apple and the country’s five largest book publishers related to claims of e-book price fixing. The European Commission announced in December that it would begin investigating whether Apple and book publishers “engaged in illegal agreements or practices that would have the object or the effect of restricting competition.” Many believe the probes are a direct result of Steve Jobs’ comments documented in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography where the late CEO said: “Amazon screwed it up.”

“We told the publishers, ‘We’ll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30 percent, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you want anyway… They went to Amazon and said, ‘You’re going to sign an agency contract or we’re not going to give you the books.’ “

Today, new court documents from a request by Apple to throw out a class action case over e-book price fixing revealed Apple’s stance on the issue. PaidContent explained: “Apple argues that its business plan was to sell as many e-books as possible and that it had no incentive to raise prices.” Meanwhile, Apple argued: “Why would Apple offer Amazon’s Kindle app on the iPad.” The company’s comments sidestepped all claims about Apple allegedly conspiring to slow Amazon’s entrance into the tablet market with Kindle Fire:

Read more

27 German publishers to combat Apple with open digital textbook platform

Following Apple’s big push into education with the announcement of the new “iBooks 2.0″ and “iBooks Author” platform, new reports claim 27 German textbook publishers are banding together to combat Apple with a digital textbook platform of their own. The platform will launch in time for the 2012 to 2013 school year.

According to a report from German language publication Boersenblatt.net (via eBookNewser), the unspecified German textbook publishers will unveil the new platform in Hannover during the Didacta Education Trade Fair from Feb. 14 to Feb. 18. The report seems to claim the platform is backed and developed in conjunction with the Educational Media Association. There is not a ton of details, but the reports claimed the platform would be completely open and available to all vendors and publishers, along with being supported on all devices and operating systems. According to eBookNewser: “There’s going to be both online and offline modes, and teachers and students will be able to purchase eBooks from different publishers and manage them on a shelf.”
Read more