ebook Stories June 20, 2016

AAPL: 95.10

-0.23

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

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

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

ebook Stories March 6, 2014

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

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.

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