In a major win for Amazon, Apple lost its appeal in federal court over the anti-trust lawsuit. Apple conspired with big publishers to price-fix eBooks. Read more about it at latimes.com.
The below-linked article summarizes the report Consumer Attitudes Towards Ebook Reading and presents slightly different data than my clients have anecdotally reported for their sales (most say that their sales come almost exclusively from Amazon, with virtually (or literally!) no sales elsewhere). It gives Amazon (including both the website and the app) as the clear leader with 67% of the market share, followed by “all other sources” at 12.8%, Barnes & Noble at 11.8, and Apple (the iTunes bookstore) at 8.2%.
In regard to the Apple price-fixing trial, Amazon is seeking to have sensitive information—including “potentially embarrassing” data related to profitability, pricing, and contract terms—redacted from evidence. This is rather interesting, as Amazon has never disclosed this information to the public before, so we are all kept in the dark regarding its actual profitability and market share. I’m split on whether I think they should be able to keep the information private—I really want to know, but they’re a private company, and as a business owner, I don’t think it’s really anyone’s business but their own.
This is an article detailing Apple’s continued and laughable denials that they colluded with publishers to fix prices on eBooks, forcing buyers to choose between overpaying for an eBook, buying a sometimes-cheaper physical book, or simply not buying the book at all. Pricing an eBook too high is likely to result in a loss of income to a greater number of authors, as readers must limit their purchases to their budgets, which may be significantly lower than the time they have available to read lower-priced books. Personally, I’d buy ten eBooks priced at $5 before I spent $18 on one.
This article discusses Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin’s ongoing fight against the US Department of Justice’s accusations of collusion in price-fixing. Three other publishing companies (Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and HarperCollins) have settled, which is rather telling. It is interesting to note, that despite claiming they did not conspire to fix prices, their arguments sound an awful lot like they are trying to justify their scheming, rather than deny it.
Quark XPress 9.3 has an update that supposedly allows direct export to Kindle format. Given the quality of the final file that other similar applications, like InDesign, produce, I will remain skeptical until I see a high-quality product produced by a typical Quark user. However, Quark has, traditionally, been a high-quality print publication tool, so maybe they’ll manage to produce something that works for eBook conversion. We shall see!
This article explains well the issues being dealt with in the case brought against Apple and and multiple publishing companies by the US Department of Justice, which accuses them of price-fixing and collusion.
Apple, in their defense against the US Department of Justice’s price-fixing accusations, claims that the government is siding with the monopoly, and that they did nothing wrong by forcing the publishers’ hands. The article includes links to PDFs of the original DoJ complaint and Apple’s response.
A well-written and informative description of the history of the eBook pricing conspiracy between Apple and traditional publishers.