Apple Found Guilty of e-Book Price Fixing

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In a move that is for many an indication of the shift in the corporate landscape regarding written electronic communication-as-business, the Department of Justice moved to prosecute — and was successful in its prosecution — of e-book price fixing on the part of Apple Inc., who were said to be colluding with five major publishers to play the lucrative e-book market in its favor. Apples’s actions had resulted in publishers setting prices on e-books rather than retailers, effectively cornering the market into the favor of major publishing houses and away from customers’ interests.
Several critics of Apple regard the case as indicative of a culture of desperation emerging as major publishers attempt to cope with slowing book sales resulting from piracy and a rise of high-speed internet, while industry titans whose major markets focus on electronics attempt to muscle into a publishing industry whose clients and customers are shifting their buying power to online sales.
It has been said, for example, that Amazon controls 90 percent of e-book sales, and with the popular e-book reader Kindle, a major coup for Amazon within the relatively new market, Amazon can effectively sell both the means and the product in one package — a state of business that suggests that Apple, with its incredibly successful iPad, wants a piece of the e-book pie.
The crimes committed by Apple go as far back as 2010, according to this <a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/09/opinion/apple-pays-dearly-for-price-fixing.html”>New York Times editorial</a> — which also suggests that the Department of Justice should have also focused on e-book industry titan Amazon, with its vast swath of the market.
But the consequences of the prosecution have some critics saying that the punishment is not enough. Apple will suffer marketing consequences for five years, as the Department of Justice attempts to thwart the company from using similar means to shift the industry in their favor in the future. According to this <a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/publishers-object-to-us-remedy-in-apple-price-fixing-conspiracy-case-in-ny-over-e-book-prices/2013/08/07/6f0a1d2e-ffc0-11e2-8294-0ee5075b840d_story.html”>Washington Post article</a>, companies directly affected by Apple’s actions wonder if the punishment effectively hampers means of seeking redress.
Whatever the outcome, the case promises to be a major turning point of sorts in a publishing industry which wants desperately to hold onto old customers while bringing in new tech-savvy clients.

In a move that is for many an indication of the shift in the corporate landscape regarding written electronic communication-as-business, the Department of Justice moved to prosecute — and was successful in its prosecution — of e-book price fixing on the part of Apple Inc., who were said to be colluding with five major publishers to play the lucrative e-book market in its favor. Apples’s actions had resulted in publishers setting prices on e-books rather than retailers, effectively cornering the market into the favor of major publishing houses and away from customers’ interests.

Several critics of Apple regard the case as indicative of a culture of desperation emerging as major publishers attempt to cope with slowing book sales resulting from piracy and a rise of high-speed internet, while industry titans whose major markets focus on electronics attempt to muscle into a publishing industry whose clients and customers are shifting their buying power to online sales.

It has been said, for example, that Amazon controls 90 percent of e-book sales, and with the popular e-book reader Kindle, a major coup for Amazon within the relatively new market, Amazon can effectively sell both the means and the product in one package — a state of business that suggests that Apple, with its incredibly successful iPad, wants a piece of the e-book pie.

The crimes committed by Apple go as far back as 2010, according to this <a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/09/opinion/apple-pays-dearly-for-price-fixing.html”>New York Times editorial</a> — which also suggests that the Department of Justice should have also focused on e-book industry titan Amazon, with its vast swath of the market.

But the consequences of the prosecution have some critics saying that the punishment is not enough. Apple will suffer marketing consequences for five years, as the Department of Justice attempts to thwart the company from using similar means to shift the industry in their favor in the future. According to this <a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/publishers-object-to-us-remedy-in-apple-price-fixing-conspiracy-case-in-ny-over-e-book-prices/2013/08/07/6f0a1d2e-ffc0-11e2-8294-0ee5075b840d_story.html”>Washington Post article</a>, companies directly affected by Apple’s actions wonder if the punishment effectively hampers means of seeking redress.

Whatever the outcome, the case promises to be a major turning point of sorts in a publishing industry which wants desperately to hold onto old customers while bringing in new tech-savvy clients.

 

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