ebooks Stories May 1

AAPL: 146.58

2.93

US eBook sales fell by 18.7% in the first nine months of 2016, while UK sales dropped 17% across the year, reports CNN. There appears to have been a resurgence in reading physical books, where sales grew during the same period.

In the UK, sales of physical books and journals went up by 7% over the same period, while children’s books surged 16%. The same trend is on display in the U.S., where […] paperback sales were up 7.5% over the same period, and hardback sales increased 4.1%.

The popularity of print format books is not necessarily very literary in nature, however …

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ebooks Stories March 8, 2016

AAPL: 101.03

-0.84

Well, the e-book case that began in 2012 when the US government accused Apple of price-fixing finally ended yesterday  when the Supreme Court declined to hear Apple’s appeal. That left the original ruling intact, meaning that Apple is officially guilty of anti-competitive behavior and will have to fork out $450M in compensation.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the correct result was reached in law. Apple did deliberately set out to fix prices, it did strike secret deals, and it did intend to manipulate the e-book market. Emails from Steve Jobs confirmed the government’s claim that Apple struck the deals in the belief that consumers would end up paying more for e-books.

Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream ebooks market at $12.99 and $14.99. [Up from the typical $9.99 at the time.]

So far, so good. If you’d brought that evidence to me at the time Apple did the deals, I’d have agreed with the government that the company’s behavior was both illegal and morally wrong. But I’d argue that by the time the case was finally brought to court, it was already abundantly clear that it was not in the public interest to pursue it …

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ebooks Stories December 3, 2015

AAPL: 115.20

-1.08

While the ebook trial may seem like old news now, the case is not yet finally settled. Apple was found guilty of anticompetitive behavior in its ebooks pricing and practices back in 2013, and lost a subsequent federal court appeal – despite some judges expressing sympathy with Apple’s position.

Apple then decided to take the case to the Supreme Court, and today got the backing of both authors and distributors, reports The Bookseller.

A group of authors and booksellers have filed a motion in the US asking for the […] decision against Apple’s role in a 2010 conspiracy to fix the price of e-books to be overturned […]

The Authors Guild, along with Authors United, the American Booksellers Association, and Barnes & Noble filed an “amicus brief” in the US which asserts that the government’s focus on Apple’s “allegedly anti-competitive activities” was “misplaced” … 

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ebooks Stories November 16, 2015

AAPL: 114.18

1.84

Apple and Amazon under investigation by German antitrust body over audiobook deal

Reuters reports that the Germany antitrust body the Federal Cartel Office has opened an investigation into the arrangement by which Apple purchases audiobooks from Amazon subsidiary Audible for sale in iTunes.

“The two companies have a strong position in the digital offering of audiobooks in Germany. Therefore, we feel compelled to examine the agreement between these two competitors in the audiobooks in more detail,” cartel office chief Andreas Mundt said in a statement.

The piece notes that Apple declined to comment, while Amazon could not be reached for comment.

Apple lost a separate U.S. case in which it was found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour in its ebook sales.  The U.S. Justice Department recently agreed that Apple had now properly addressed the issues, though this may not be the end of the battle: Apple is appealing that case to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

ebooks Stories October 13, 2015

AAPL: 111.79

0.19

The U.S. Justice Department has said that is now satisfied with Apple’s measures to guard against any repetition of the type of anti-competitive behaviour ruled illegal in the long-running ebooks trialBloomberg reports that the department has recommended that the court-appointed monitor is no longer necessary.

In a letter to the Manhattan federal judge who found in 2013 that Apple illegally conspired with publishers to set e-book prices, the U.S. said Apple has “now implemented meaningful antitrust policies, procedures, and training programs that were obviously lacking at the time Apple participated in and facilitated the horizontal price-fixing conspiracy found by this court.”

The letter did, however, note that Apple “never embraced a cooperative working relationship with the monitor” …  expand full story

ebooks Stories September 18, 2015

AAPL: 113.45

-0.47

Apple has scored a belated additional victory against Samsung in its endless patent trial battle with the smartphone rival. Apple had originally asked the court for two remedies: financial compensation, and an injunction forbidding Samsung from continuing to sell devices which infringed its patents. The court said yes to the first, no to the second.

As the WSJ reports, a federal appeals court judge has ruled that the court should have also granted the injunction.

“Samsung’s infringement harmed Apple by causing lost market share and lost downstream sales and by forcing Apple to compete against its own patented invention,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said[…]

The appeals court [ruled that] a California trial court that previously denied Apple’s request “abused its discretion when it did not enjoin Samsung’s infringement” … 

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