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Books The Almighty Buck The Courts Apple

Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval 93

Posted by samzenpus
from the red-light-green-light dept.
An anonymous reader writes A week after Judge Denise Cote put forward concerns over a proposed settlement with consumers over e-book price-fixing in the iBookstore, she has given Apple preliminary approval for its $450 million settlement. "The proposed settlement agreement is within the range of those that may be approved as fair and reasonable, such that notice to the class is appropriate," Cote said. "Preliminary approval is granted." Cote set a final fairness hearing for Nov. 21.
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Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

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  • by turkeydance (1266624) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @07:05PM (#47596051)
    take it and it's over. it's only USD$ after all, and they'll print some more.
  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @10:48PM (#47596799)

    Apple engaged in illegal activity, willfully so, and they rightfully should be slapped for it. But so did Amazon, yet they've been able to get away with it so far because the one's being hurt by them aren't the general public.

    The author's guild has outright claimed that they think Amazon is breaching the Sherman Antitrust Act [nytimes.com]. Most people seem to forget that those laws apply to not just monopolies (when you're the only seller), but also to monopsonies (when you're the only buyer), and that the abusive monopsony Amazon has with regards to the publishers in this market is exactly what pushed the publishers into engaging in their own illegal activities. Which isn't to say that Apple or the publishers were justified in doing what they did because Amazon screwed them first. They weren't. Full stop. But that also doesn't mean that Amazon is justified in doing what it's been doing just because the publishers engaged in illegal activities too.

    Negotiating hard is one thing, but they've held around 90% market share with eBooks for awhile now, and as virtually the only buyer in that space, Amazon has a responsibility to not abuse their monopsony, yet they have failed to do so at every turn. Anyone who Googles around for about 5 minutes can turn up a dozen examples of Amazon abusing their dominant position to force the publisher's hands. Delisting books right as major releases are about to come out, refusing to ship copies they have so that shipping times go from days to weeks, forcing the publishers to change packaging with minimal notice or else. These are all part and parcel in dealing with Amazon.

    Apple deserves to be punished. Make no mistake about that. But Amazon has yet to get what it deserves, simply because it was smart enough to make sure that it hurt people no one feels sorry for.

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