ebook Stories June 20, 2016

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Three years ago, Apple was found guilty of anticompetitive behavior centered around ebook pricing and price-fixing. The case was in limbo for years as Apple appealed and tried to fight the ruling, but earlier this year the Supreme Court declined to hear the company’s appeal, putting Apple on the hook for $450 million. Law firm Hagens Berman today issued a press release revealing that payouts will begin being sent to affected customers tomorrow, June 21st.

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ebook Stories April 15, 2015

Feature: Why I edited a novel on an iPad (and why I Kickstarted it afterwards)

After noting that I planned and wrote a novel on my MacBook Pro 17, it might surprise you to learn that I did much of the editing on my iPad.

I began the editing on my Macs – the Pro when I was at home, the Air when I was elsewhere. At that point, I still wanted to be in Scrivener in case structural edits were needed: scenes that needed to happen earlier or later in the story.

I also used my Macs to incorporate feedback from alpha and beta readers. Alpha readers were subject-matter experts (airline pilot, aircraft engineer, software developers and so on), who could identify any technical errors or omissions. Beta readers were technothriller fans who provided more general feedback on the story itself.

ebook Stories December 15, 2014

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Apple is having a busy time in court at the moment. Not only is it defending the iPod DRM class action, but is this morning beginning its appeal of the verdict of last year’s ebook trial.

The court ruled that Apple was guilty of anti-competitive practices in two ways. First, the company asked publishers to switch from wholesale pricing – where publishers sold in bulk to retailers, who set their own prices – to an agency model, where publishers set retail prices and retailers took a commission. The court ruled that this reduced price competition …  expand full story

ebook Stories March 6, 2014

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Apple’s prospects of a successful appeal against the ruling in the ebooks trial may be improved by a brief filed by two economists from Caltech and NYU who suggest that the ruling was in error and call for it to be reversed.

Apple was found guilty of anti-competitive practices on two grounds. First, it asked publishers to switch from a wholesale pricing model – where publishers sold books in bulk and retailers set their own prices – to an agency model, where publishers set prices and retailers took a percentage cut. This, the court found, reduced price competition …  expand full story

ebook Stories August 23, 2013

Steve-Jobs-Email-ebook-Amazon

As first spotted by GigaOm, the US Department of Justice has submitted a revised remedy proposal in the ongoing ebook case that previously found Apple guilty of conspiring with publishers to control ebook pricing. While much of the proposal remains the same as the proposal it first submitted at the beginning of this month, the report points out that the DOJ has added more information and a Steve Jobs email as an exhibit showing that Apple changed its in-app purchasing policies specifically “to retaliate against Amazon for competitive conduct that Apple disapproved of.”

While referencing the email above in which Steve Jobs and Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller discuss forcing Amazon to go through Apple’s payment system, the DOJ claims Apple “misrepresented the factual circumstances” since it allows other retailers to bypass its 30% cut: expand full story

ebook Stories August 15, 2013

Apple’s e-Book damages trial scheduled for May

After a US District judge found Apple guilty of fixing e-book prices, All Things D is reporting that the settlement trial will be set for May.

A report earlier this month from GigaOM estimated that Apple could have to pay up to $500 million in consumer damages based on what the five publishers have paid through state and class action cases, but there was no financial related settlements included in the DOJ’s remedy proposal published earlier this month.

The DOJ published its proposal for a remedy in the case with Apple after having reached settlements with five other publishers initially involved earlier in the year. The DOJ’s proposed settlement includes the following:

-Apple must terminate its agreements with the 5 publishers involved

-Must “refrain for five years from entering new e-book distribution contracts which would restrain Apple from competing on price.”

-Must not “serve as a conduit of information among the conspiring publishers or from retaliating against publishers for refusing to sell e-books on agency terms”

-Must not enter contracts for music, movies, TV, or games, that will increase prices for competing retailers

-Must allow other e-book retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to provide links from their e-book apps to their e-bookstores for two years (on iPhone and iPad)

-Must “appoint an external monitor to ensure that Apple’s internal antitrust compliance policies are sufficient to catch anticompetitive activities before they result in harm to consumers”

For those unfamiliar with the e-book case, here’s a quick summary:

Apple is the last defendant in the case, as the five publishers initially involved– Hachette Book Group (USA), HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., Holtzbrinck, Macmillan, Penguin Group (USA) Inc. and Simon & Schuster Inc–had settled with the courts previously. The publishers agreed to terminate agreements with Apple that would limit ebook price competition and “allow for retail price competition in renegotiated e-book distribution agreements.”

Apple responded to the DOJ’s proposed resolution by calling it a “draconian and punitive intrusion“. In addition, the book publishers also found the settlement to be unacceptable. We’ll have to wait until May for the jury to decide how Apple should pay up.

ebook Stories August 9, 2013

This afternoon, Apple and the DOJ will be in court to decide the fate of the agency model implementation in the iBookstore. The court has already ruled that Apple has been working with publishers to price-fix and raise the prices of ebooks, but now a punishment must be determined.

This morning, the DOJ responded to publishers’ concerns about the remedies and claimed that, since they are even responding together, they have shown once again how they are banded together (PDF of full response – via GigaOM):

Indeed, the very fact that the Publisher Defendants have banded together once again, this time to jointly oppose two provisions in the Proposed Final Judgment that they believe could result in lower ebook prices for consumers, only highlights why it is necessary to ensure that Apple (and hopefully other retailers) can discount ebooks and compete on retail price for as long as possible.

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ebook Stories August 2, 2013

Apple calls DOJ ebooks remedy proposal ‘draconian and punitive’

Following the Department of Justice’s proposed settlements for the iBooks court case, Apple has submitted a response to the court that clearly shows the company is in no way interested in the suggested changes. The 31 page document is summarized quite well by the initial introduction:

Plaintiffs’ proposed injunction is a draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple’s business, wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm. Plaintiffs propose a sweeping and unprecedented injunction as a tool to empower the Government to regulate Apple’s businesses and potentially affect Apple’s business relationships with thousands of partners across several markets. Plaintiffs’ overreaching proposal would establish a vague new compliance regime—applicable only to Apple—with intrusive oversight lasting for ten years, going far beyond the legal issues in this case, injuring competition and consumers, and violating basic principles of fairness and due process. The resulting cost of this relief—not only in dollars but also lost opportunities for American businesses and consumers—would be vast.

Here is the response in its entirety (via TNW):

 

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After reaching settlements with just about every publisher involved in the long-running Apple/Amazon e-book price fixing case, The United States Department of Justice today published its proposal to end the case with Apple after finding the company guilty of conspiring to fix ebook prices during trial earlier this month:

“The court found that Apple’s illegal conduct deprived consumers of the benefits of e-book price competition and forced them to pay substantially higher prices,” said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “Under the department’s proposed order, Apple’s illegal conduct will cease and Apple and its senior executives will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition in the future.”

Among the key points in the proposal: expand full story

ebook Stories June 20, 2013

Apple & DOJ submit closing arguments as e-book price fixing trial comes to a close

After a three week debate between Apple and the U.S. Department of Justice, the controversial e-book price-fixing case concluded today with final summations at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. As part of its last remarks, Apple presented a 136-slide deck describing its case against the DOJ in full detail underscoring its argument that they did not conspire with publishers to illegally fix e-book prices.

On the other side of the argument, the DOJ argues that Apple was the “ringmaster” of a plot to raise mainstream e-book pricing above Amazon’s pre-established $9.99 price point by moving the industry from a wholesale model to an agency model. In the proposed model, Apple granted retailers the ability to set prices much like Apple’s App Store. Like Apple, the DOJ provided a deck explaining their point of view. Both decks can be viewed below.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote is expected to rule on the case in the coming weeks.

ebook Stories June 7, 2013

From 9to5Toys.com:

A large majority of the deals we cover each day come from a variety of ‘Daily Deal’ websites or are so popular that they don’t even last 24 hours.  We know you can’t be at your computer every second, so we’re going to roundup the best deals each day to make sure you have a fair shot at the deals you want. Be sure to follow 9to5Toys.com so you never miss a deal... TwitterRSS FeedFacebook

Today’s Featured deals:

91bci4gzz7l-_sl1500_Logitech UE Mini Boombox Bluetooth speaker, ‘the best portable speaker you can buy’: $59 shipped

Screen Shot 2013-06-09 at 6.11.45 PM

Apple iPad Leather Smart Cover (open box) $15 Shipped (Reg. $69 new)

3-in-1 Universal USB Charging Cable –This universal USB cable is the last charging cable you’ll ever need. It can charge up to 3 devices simultaneously, and is compatible with iPhone 5/4S/4/3GS/3G/3, iPad, iPod, Android, HTC, Samsung and other devices. It’s optimized to avoid tangling, and for $7 + Free Shipping (a big discount from $59) it is the same price as Apple’s single Lightning cable. We reviewed the Cable here for more information.

Other great deals we love:

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ebook Stories June 6, 2013

9to5Toys Last Call: $71 Kingston 64GB Wi-Drive for iPhone/iPad/iPod, $119 Western Digital 2TB USB 3.0 Portable HD

From 9to5Toys.com:

A large majority of the deals we cover each day come from a variety of ‘Daily Deal’ websites or are so popular that they don’t even last 24 hours.  We know you can’t be at your computer every second, so we’re going to roundup the best deals each day to make sure you have a fair shot at the deals you want. Be sure to follow 9to5Toys.com so you never miss a deal... TwitterRSS FeedFacebook

Today’s Featured deals:

Other great deals we love:

Kubi is a cloud controlled robotic desktop stand for your tablet. It enables you (or whoever is on the other end of a video call) to look around and interact through the tablet. Kubi is capable of a 300° pan and a 90° tilt, and is compatible with any Bluetooth enabled tablet, from iPads to the Microsoft Surface. This product is a game-changing video conference device for anyone who works remotely. This deal expires at midnight, so get it now for $259 + Free Shipping (Marked down from $315).

ebook Stories May 24, 2013

Judge in Apple eBook case says U.S. government has evidence to prove pricing conspiracy ahead of trial

Earlier this month we heard that Apple submitted to the courts that it engaged in “contentious negotiations”– and not a pricing conspiracy– at a time when publishers were already considering methods of getting Amazon to increase pricing. According to the latest comments from a judge in the high-profile eBook pricing case, Apple might not be able to prove its case when it goes to trial early next month.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote believes that the U.S Justice Department will indeed be able to prove a pricing conspiracy took place (via Bloomberg):

“I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that,” U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said yesterday.

“We strongly disagree with the court’s preliminary statements about the case,” Orin Snyder, Apple’s lead lawyer in the case, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “The court made clear that this was not a final ruling and that the evidence at trial will determine the verdict. This is what a trial is for.”

ebook Stories May 22, 2013

Penguin agrees to pay $75 million in consumer damages following eBook price fixing case

We already knew back in December that Pearson, along with a handful of other publishers had decided to settle with the U.S. Department of Justice in the high-profile Apple ebook price-fixing case. Today a statement from Peason’s Penguin unit confirms that it has now also reached an agreement that will see the publisher pay $75 million in consumer damages to the US State Attorneys General on behalf of people that were overcharged due to the alleged price fixing:

Penguin has reached a comprehensive agreement with the US State Attorneys General and private class plaintiffs to pay $75 million in consumer damages plus costs and fees to resolve all antitrust claims relating to eBook pricing.  Penguin has also committed to the State Attorneys General to abide by the same injunctive relief as previously agreed in a separate settlement with the Department of Justice.

In anticipation of reaching this agreement, Pearson had made a $40m provision for settlement in its 2012 accounts. An incremental charge will be expensed in Pearson’s 2013 statutory accounts as part of the accounting for the Penguin Random House joint-venture.

ebook Stories May 15, 2013

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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: expand full story

ebook Stories April 23, 2012

By now you probably know that the U.S. Department of Justice launched an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and two publishers this month following an investigation into Apple’s eBook pricing agency model. Three publishers, including Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, decided to reach a settlement with the Department of Justice to return to Amazon’s set-your-own price wholesale model. Meanwhile, Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin will take the fight to court.

Interestingly, a report from The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by the HarperCollins’ parent company News Corp, suggested Apple was only ever trying to continue its App Store business model. The Wall Street Journal’s L. Gordon Crovitz described visiting Senior Apple Executive Eddy Cue to discuss changing Apple’s policies for publications. He quoted Cue as comparing book pricing to apps and not wanting to treat publications differently than app developers: expand full story

ebook Stories April 18, 2012

An Apple lawyer told Reuters today that the Cupertino, Calif.-based Company wants to go to trial over allegedly working with five other publishers to raise the prices of eBooks. A few analysts already said that Apple has a good chance of winning in court, which is most likely why Apple will not choose to settle and will instead fight it out. An Apple lawyer told Reuters: “Our basic view is that we would like the case to be decided on the merits. We believe that this is not an appropriate case against us and we would like to validate that.”

Three of the five accused eBook publishers already settled with the U.S. Department of Justice, but Macmillan and Penguin chose to also fight the Department of Justice. All five publishers are accused of meeting in a London hotel to discuss raising the price of eBooks.

Apple may have a strong case, because it did not participate in the meeting and it does not set the price of publishers’ eBooks. The civil antitrust suit alleged, however, that Apple’s move to let publishers set their own prices—and it is a requirement that publishers do not sell their digital books for cheaper elsewhere—forced consumers to pay millions more for eBooks than they should have.

Apple was also accused of setting a monopoly over the eBook market, but the company would like to think otherwise.

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ebook Stories April 10, 2012

The U.S. Department of Justice will sue Apple as early as tomorrow morning over allegations of fixing eBook prices with five major publishers, according to Reuters. The five publishers, which are also in question, will be looked at later in the week.

The Justice Department is investigating alleged price-fixing by Apple and five major publishers: CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc, HarperCollins Publishers Inc, Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group, Pearson and Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH.

A lawsuit against Apple, one of the parties not in negotiations with the Justice Department for a potential settlement, could come as early as Wednesday but no final decision has been made, the people said.

The news of a lawsuit comes just weeks after the Department of Justice launched a probe into Apple and the five publishers. We will keep you updated with any more news about this case. expand full story

ebook Stories March 9, 2012

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 […]

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