Don’t Believe The eBook Anti-Anti-Trust Spin

Steve Jobs, Price Fixer?

Publishers wanted competition among e-readers instead of a Kindle monopoly and worried that the subsidized price established artificially low prices.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

This article seems to be the opening offensive against the Department of Justice’s inquiry and accusation of Apple and the Big Six engaging in a price-fixing conspiracy.

While the bullshit flies thick and fast in the upcoming days, I want all of you to remember these key points so you don’t go insane and forget your bearings:

1) The publishers “wanted competition”? Then why did they all allow Borders to go bankrupt? Not one of them would work with that chain to help it survive. They wrote off all existing debt rather than help foster competition against Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Borders had the Kobo eReader, a Kindle competitor.

2) Did the publishers ever force Amazon to an Agency Model for their print books? No, they did not. Isn’t it strange how they never worried about the market power of Amazon in print but were scared of Amazon in eBooks?

3) Did the publishers ever mention “windowing” eBooks when the Sony Reader Store was the major game in town? No, they did not. Nor did they ever complain about Sony discounting — and it did, by offering bundles of books that are no longer possible under the Agency Model.

4) Did the publishers ever mention “windowing” print books to Amazon? That is, letting the then-still-alive-Borders and Barnes & Noble several weeks of print book exclusivity before Amazon could sell them? No, they never did. Remember point one: They let Borders drop dead!

5) Since when did uniform and universal pricing set from the top — ala the old Soviet Kremlin’s Command and Control system — become a measure of competition? When people state that the Agency Model’s uniform pricing is actually good for competition, ask the people who are trying to shove this bullshit down your throat if they buy their print books at a discount from Amazon!

6) Does anyone really believe that Apple was ever in a disadvantageous position to enter the eBook market? Before the iBookstore was ever unveiled with the iPad, Apple already had several million iPhones out there, all waiting to be iBookstore customers, dwarfing the population of Kindles.

No, don’t believe the anti-anti-trust bullshit.

Whether the arguments put forward by the government will stick or not is irrelevant to the overarching fact that Apple is still guilty of restraint of trade by demanding a 30% vig from every other eBookstore.

I’m not sympathetic to any tech company or publisher or eBookstore. They’re all out to drain our wallets to their best advantage, not ours. What often looks like a bargain up-front is a hidden agenda for overwhelming dominance later on that is designed to kill competition.

Yes, that sounds just like the Kindle model. But guess what? That’s the iPad model too.

Previously here:

Authors Guild Favors Big Six eBook Price Cartel


Filed under Books: General, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General

8 responses to “Don’t Believe The eBook Anti-Anti-Trust Spin

  1. LOL About 2/3 of this post is spread across comments on my blog.

  2. Engineer

    You’re so full of shit your eyes are brown. Everything you said here is either irrelevant or false.

    Bottom line, you’re a socialist, and you oppose competition. You are just spinning to try and pretend otherwise.

    • mikecane

      Irrelevant or false? Wow, you have great problems with reading comprehension, don’t you? Apple fanboi, much?

    • haydoni

      Collusion is the socialist tendency inherent within capitalism, it needs to be eradicated/policed to ensure we have a smooth running free market. *You* are the socialist here.

  3. James

    I don’t see how having a single online bookseller and no physical stores is good for competition. Does anyone believe that Amazon will continue selling books below cost once they’ve eliminated all of their competition? Selling below cost to eliminate your competition is also against anti-trust laws.

    • mikecane

      And what will you do when B&N spins off Nook and winds down its physical stores before facing involuntary liquidation? Who says we need physical bookstores? I have never seen a single Netflix customer weep over their local rental rental store going away — or Blockbuster going away.

  4. Pingback: Writing on the Ether | Jane Friedman

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