Collusion!

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by phil_geo, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. phil_geo

    phil_geo Rat Thing

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    Have you heard the latest? The Justice Department is considering bringing a lawsuit against Apple and several other retailers for colluding with publishers to keep ebook prices high.

    It all stems from the new pricing model. Publishers used to sell books to retailers and then the retailers set competitive prices. No more - publishers set the prices for ebooks, and retailers take a 30% cut. The deal was first struck with Apple, and then quickly signed by Amazon, B&N, etc. It results in the same price everywhere, no competition, and no ability of the retailer to lower prices. And that's not America. That's not even Canada.

    It's almost certain that the DoJ interest will result in a freer market - and lower prices on ebooks. Soon, retailers will probably have the ability to set their prices on ebooks. Amazon already takes losses on many paper books to drive people to its site. If it had the ability to make its Kindle pass the iPad in popularity, how low do you think they will set ebook prices? I for one, can't wait!
     
  2. werewolfv2

    werewolfv2 Book worm

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    for all I care they can charge an arm and a leg for e-books, I wouldnt mind a price reduction on actual books though.
     
  3. algernoninc

    algernoninc Now I'm an axolotl

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    as I understand it from the indictment, the main issue here is the clause that say the publisher is forbidden to offer the book at a lower price anywhere else, eliminating competition and artificially inflating the value of th ebook.
     
  4. sic's mom

    sic's mom I want to be a princess

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    I get the idea that publishers want to get as much as possible for their product. Even applaud it. Thats what free enterprise is about. But to legally keep prices high, I sure don't agree with. Competition is the backbone of free enterprise and I think that if the publishers cut the prices of some of their ebooks they might find in the long run they will make more. I would probably buy even more books for my Nook if they were cheaper, and I know there are quite a few people out there that feel the same way. Greed has gotten to be the way of this country and it is a sad thing to see.
     
  5. phil_geo

    phil_geo Rat Thing

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    They updated with a new article. The issue of forbidding the publisher from offering a lower price elsewhere is one facet, but another is that the JD claims the publishers and multiple competitors (namely Apple and Amazon) colluded to set book prices. When competitors work together to set high prices for books so they can make more money, it is illegal.

    It was always obvious that a couple of years ago, ebook prices went through the roof and were artificially high. I assumed the publishers were asking for a lot of money for the ebooks from the retailers. Looks like the retailers were in on it. The JD thinks they have a very strong case, and I'm looking forward to much lower ebook prices.

    Publishers claim 90% of their cost is from things other than printing and distributing the books. They claim they couldn't lower ebook prices if they wanted to. Why argue with the - the easiest way is to eliminate the publisher. More and more writers are becoming successful without a publisher by direct selling ebooks. This kind of reminds me of Louis CKs latest show, which he offered for $5 from his website. He made well over $1M, which he said is far more than he would have made selling the show to HBO and having them make a video of it. He simply hired a producer and the camermen himself. Better for everyone (except the middleman).
     
  6. cgw

    cgw Registered User

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    I understood that the "price fixing" was in response to Amazon selling ebooks below cost so they could sell more kindles. If that is the case (which it may not be), I think both are wrong.
    Obviously publishers are struggling with the the new technology. They can resist but new tech will happen whether they want it to or not. Ask Kodak.
    I have not tried an e-reader yet. I like books but will at least give a reader a shot sometime.
    Two things that may make them work for me:
    1. Read without reading glasses.
    2. Easier to read in bed than a hard cover book.
     
  7. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    I have been reading a lot of ebooks from my laptop lately. A huge draw for me is the adjustable font, and also the high contrast -- that pesky vision problem....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2012
  8. phil_geo

    phil_geo Rat Thing

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    Update:

    VICTORY! :D

     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  9. Asimovking

    Asimovking "Dime Store Rock"

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    I'd prefer a free market solution over more government regulation.
     
  10. Gkarlives

    Gkarlives Mystic and Misfit

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    Unfortunately, the price fixing was the free market solution. The regulation is the government's attempt to balance the equation again.:D
     
  11. Asimovking

    Asimovking "Dime Store Rock"

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    :D

    The free market response to price fixing would be if people stopped buying the books because the prices are too high. The response would then be a lowering of the prices. Problem solved.
     
  12. kissmequick

    kissmequick bingley bingley beep

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    We all realise that the agency model usually meant the publisher making less and the third party resellers making more. And that Amazon forcing prices down so far was part of why they changed (so that third party, Amazon or no, got a set amount). Making people NOT Amazon (who were selling ebooks at less than cost to drive sales for the kindle) more competitive, thus reducing the monopolization by Amazon?

    If anyone was going to collude to price fix, surely they'd do so to, I don't know, make more money per book, not less?
     
  13. Gkarlives

    Gkarlives Mystic and Misfit

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    Yes, but that is in a perfect world where there are no backroom deals and people always know what these guys are doing. They were caught this time, but given time and the likely small slap on the wrist they will get, they will try something else. This is the way our free market actually works, Enron, Tyco, etc.
     
  14. kged

    kged Gloriam Imperator

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    E-books are The Devil, and I will have nothing to do with them. Books are paper - real wrinkly, rustly, mildewy, smelly, yellowing, broken spines, falling open at your favourite parts paper. When you start a book you have a big chunk of pages in your right hand and just a few in your left; you can judge where you are in a story by how that balance changes. You can re-read a book and remember the feel of it in your hand, the weight of THAT book, the curl of its page corners, that weird splodge on page 296. When you read and love a book, you can have the excitement/disappointment of going into a bookshop a few years later and seeing it has got a new cover. E-books, however, are sterile joyless ugly lifeless horrible horrible horrible things. I'll never never switch to using one.

    Aaaaaand relax *breathes*.
     
  15. Spears&Buckler

    Spears&Buckler MJ Dusseault

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    Well said! E-books are not for me either.
     
  16. kennychaffin

    kennychaffin Man of Ways and Means

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    They will be. It's the future.
    :D
     
  17. Mekrath

    Mekrath Registered User

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    Couldn't disagree with you more :)

    I would only buy a paper book if the price was significantly cheaper than the e-book.
     
  18. cgw

    cgw Registered User

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    I'm flexible. I listen to vinyl, tapes, CD's and MP3's. I have a beta VCR, VHS VRC and DVD player. One thing you can not do is put an e-book on a shelf. I would rather have a book case full of books than a nice painting on the wall. I like to look at them and to have them there. I may read ebooks some day but I hope the regular books to not disappear in my lifetime.
     
  19. kennychaffin

    kennychaffin Man of Ways and Means

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    Sounds like a market waiting to be addressed! :D
     
  20. Asimovking

    Asimovking "Dime Store Rock"

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    If all the parties involved agreed to the contract then there's nothing wrong with it. And by extenstion a consumer agrees to it when they pay the price for the product. You don't have yo know what they are doing behind the scenes to decide for yourself whether or not something costs more than you are willing to pay. People don't realize how much power consumers have. Consumers set the price by either paying it or not.

    And we don't have a free market so Enron and all that are invalid examples.