03-06-2013, 01:29 #1
Apple fixou preço de e-books com editoras
O acordo, realizado em 2009, adotou o modelo de remuneração de agências, com as editoras estabelecendo os preços de venda ao consumidor e pagando aos canais uma porcentagem sobre o preço fixado, prejudicando o comprador -- por exemplo, livrarias como a Amazon alegadamente ficaram impedidas de vender os e-books por menos. A Apple e as editoras envolvidas foram processadas pelo governo americano. As editoras fizeram um acordo com o governo, cancelando o contrato com a Apple e formando fundos para cobrir a devolução de compras de consumidores. A Apple decidiu ir a julgamento, que começa amanhã (03/06).
O que dizia Steve Jobs da jogada?
"We'll go to the agency model, where you [editora] set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway."
Pelo menos esse nunca escondeu que "Don't be evil" não era a praia da Apple.
Technology giant Apple is to begin its defence against charges by the US government that it tried to fix the prices of e-books.
The iPad-maker is accused of working with publishers in 2009 to set prices in an effort to compete in the e-book market dominated by Amazon.
Quotes from Steve Jobs' official biography have been cited as evidence in the case.
The three-week, non-jury trial begins on Monday in New York.
The US Department of Justice alleges that Apple agreed with publishers that they should set the price of e-books, rather than allowing individual retailers to do so - a system known as the "agency model".
Prosecutors claim this allowed Apple to take a percentage of sales made through its iBooks platform. They allege that this practice prevented Amazon from charging lower prices.
Five publishers originally named as defendants alongside Apple have already reached settlements in which they agreed to terminate their e-book agreements with Apple.
The largest settlement was with Penguin for $75m (£49m).
Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster created a $69m fund for refunds to consumers and Macmillan settled for $26m.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook recently dismissed the idea of a settlement with the government.
"We didn't do anything wrong there," he said. "We're going to fight."
But the Justice Department has included quotes attributed to the former chief executive Steve Jobs, taken from his authorized biography, in its case.
It says Mr Jobs explained to his biographer that Apple had told publishers: "We'll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway."
He was also quoted as describing the strategy as an "aikido move" - a reference to a Japanese martial art.
Apple's defence team argue that any agreement with publishers did not affect their dealings with other retailers such as Amazon.
Última edição por 5ms; 03-06-2013 às 01:41.
04-06-2013, 00:50 #2
Conluio organizado pela Apple aumentou em 50% os preços de ebook para viabilizar iPad
Segundo promotores do Departamento de Justiça dos EUA, imediatamente após o lançamento do iPad em 2010, o preço tipico dos e-books vendidos na Amazon subiu de US$ 10 para US$ 15. Sem o conluio promovido pela Apple com as editoras, fixando o preço dos e-books para o consumidor final, alegadamente o iBooks não teria condições de suprir os iPads com preços similares ao da Amazon.
BBC News - Apple e-book deal 'cost hundreds of millions'
04-06-2013, 01:24 #3
... e-mails from Jobs and quotes from him published in Walter Isaacson’s 2011 authorized biography of Apple’s founder.
“Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99,” Jobs wrote in a Jan. 24, 2010, e-mail to James Murdoch, the head of Harper Collins Publishers Ltd. parent News Corp.
In another e-mail, to Simon & Schuster Inc. Chief Executive Officer Carolyn Reidy, former general counsel Elisa Rivlin quotes Jobs responding to a reporter’s question why consumers would buy an Apple e-book for $14.99 when Amazon’s price is $9.99.
“A confident Jobs replies, ‘That won’t be the case … The prices will be the same.’”
“I cannot believe that Jobs made the statement below,” Rivlin wrote. “Incredibly stupid.”
Snyder said the government had twisted Jobs’s words. The idea that Jobs would have admitted to illegal price-fixing, to his biographer and in a recorded press interview, is far-fetched, Snyder said.
Price fixing is an agreement between participants on the same side in a market to buy or sell a product, service, or commodity only at a fixed price, or maintain the market conditions such that the price is maintained at a given level by controlling supply and demand.
The intent of price fixing may be to push the price of a product as high as possible, leading to profits for all sellers but may also have the goal to fix, peg, discount, or stabilize prices. The defining characteristic of price fixing is any agreement regarding price, whether expressed or implied.
Price fixing requires a conspiracy between sellers or buyers. The purpose is to coordinate pricing for mutual benefit of the traders. For example, manufacturers and retailers may conspire to sell at a common "retail" price; set a common minimum sales price, where sellers agree not to discount the sales price below the agreed-to minimum price; buy the product from a supplier at a specified maximum price; adhere to a price book or list price; engage in cooperative price advertising; standardize financial credit terms offered to purchasers; use uniform trade-in allowances; limit discounts; discontinue a free service or fix the price of one component of an overall service; adhere uniformly to previously-announced prices and terms of sale; establish uniform costs and markups; impose mandatory surcharges; purposefully reduce output or sales in order to charge higher prices; or purposefully share or pool markets, territories, or customers.
Price fixing is permitted in some markets but not others; where allowed, it is often known as resale price maintenance or retail price maintenance.
Última edição por 5ms; 04-06-2013 às 01:36.
04-06-2013, 01:47 #4...
The DOJ also alleges that Apple was a “facilitator and go-between” to get publishers to enact higher ebook prices in the agency pricing negotiations between publishers and Amazon — when Macmillan CEO John Sargent went to Seattle to talk to Amazon about agency pricing, for example. And when individual publishers were trying to decide whether they should adopt agency pricing and join Apple’s iBookstore, the DOJ says that Apple acted as “a conduit” by telling them what other publishers were doing and thinking.
The DOJ cited the MFN (most-favored nation) clause that Apple required in its publisher contracts as an obvious way for Apple to try to control Amazon’s own ebook pricing practices: Buterman said that Apple was “fully aware that the imposition of an MFN in its agency agreements” would lead publishers to enact agency agreements with Amazon.”
Apple’s entry into the ebook market “arrested all ebook price competition,” Buterman concluded, arguing that any innovation in the space around the time that the iBookstore launched either existed before the launch or couldn’t be tied to it. “The iPad was going to be introduced regardless of whether there was an iBookstore,” he said, while describing “increased book sales and new devices” as “trends that were well underway” before Apple came on the scene.
Apple’s attorney Orin Snyder argued in his opening statement — which lasted over three hours — that the government had provided no direct evidence of a conspiracy between Apple and publishers. Apple “simply was not willing to start a new business that would lose money” by matching Amazon’s $9.99 price for bestsellers. But the DOJ, Synder said, is asking the court to “ignore the actual negotiation of the contracts that define the relationships between the parties.”
Rarely does a federal antitrust suit go to trial, and Apple’s stubborn defense has drawn great interest, offering a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the nation’s tech giants whose innovations have roiled the media and entertainment landscape.
Attorneys from Amazon and Google attended the trial and asked U.S. District Judge Denise Cote to keep sealed documents that could reveal their business secrets. All five publishers in the suit have settled with the Justice Department, but their executives will be called to testify.
A highlight of the case will be the testimony of Apple’s head of iTunes, Eddy Cue, Jobs’s right-hand man on the e-books deals. Cue is scheduled to appear in court June 13, and the Justice Department has alleged that Cue executed a plan, approved by Jobs, to persuade publishers to switch from Amazon’s wholesale model of pricing that kept books at $9.99.
Jobs was intimately involved in the plan, the government alleges.
Última edição por 5ms; 04-06-2013 às 01:51.
07-06-2013, 22:10 #5
Publishers gave Amazon "ultimatum" over e-book pricing
Day 3 of the Apple e-book trial: Enter Amazon
FORTUNE -- The lawyers defending Apple (AAPL) in the e-book antitrust case would like nothing better than to make the trial be about Amazon (AMZN), not their client, and on Wednesday they got their chance when Russell Grandinetti took the stand.
In earlier testimony from two publishing executives -- Penguin's David Shanks and Simon & Schuster's Carolyn Reidy -- Grandinetti played the heavy.
As Amazon's VP for Kindle content, it was he who managed the company's 80% to 90% share of the e-book market, he who used the publisher's e-book titles as $9.99 loss leaders to promote Kindle sales, he who "threatened our business" (in Reidy's words) after they threw in with Apple.
And Grandinetti had the leading role in one of the most dramatic scenes in the e-book story.
On Thursday Jan. 28, 2010, the day after Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, he and Macmillan CEO John Sargent had a tense meeting in Amazon's Seattle headquarters during which Sargent told Grandinetti that Macmillan wanted to change the terms of their contract from the traditional wholesale model, where Amazon set the prices for e-books, to the agency model that Apple had introduced, where the publishers set the prices.
Grandinetti testified Wednesday that he expressed in no uncertain words how "unpalatable" he found Sargent's "ultimatum," and he ended the meeting by escorting Sargent out the building. The next day Grandinetti removed Amazon's "buy" button from all of Macmillan's titles -- not just e-books, but printed books as well.
Grandinetti eventually "capitulated" (his word) and negotiated agency deals with all five of the publishers the Justice Department has named as co-conspirators with Apple in a scheme to raise the price of e-books.
It was when Grandinetti described those negotiations that the tenor of the trial changed. Apple's defense team could hardly contain their glee as attorney Howard Heiss, in sometimes combative questioning, got Grandinetti to describe the terms of those contracts.
They were, point by point, the same terms Apple had negotiated -- terms the government had described two days earlier as "a deliberate scheme orchestrated by Apple to fix prices" and which were voided last year as part of the publishers' settlements of the changes against them.
Amazon's contracts even contained the price-matching, or MFN, provision that was supposed to be the linchpin of Apple's illegal stratagem.
"We made it very clear to the publishers," Grandinetti testified, "that we would not sign without price parity."
If Judge Denise Cote, who will decide the case, took the point that Apple was trying to make -- that what it did in negotiating its contracts is what any company would have done to further its business interests -- she showed no sign.
Grandinetti's theory of the case, by the way, is that the publishers, who held a "monopoly" on the sale of their own titles, had a particularly nefarious reason ganging up on Amazon.
"It was our belief," he testified, "that the reason we were in this situation was that some of the publishers wanted to slow the sale of the Kindle."
Grandinetti returns to the stand on Thursday.
Última edição por 5ms; 07-06-2013 às 22:19.
07-06-2013, 22:15 #6
Day 4 of Apple e-book case: The meeting in Jeff Bezos's boathouseFORTUNE -- "I'm not comfortable discussing the contents of that meeting."
That's what Russell Grandinetti, Amazon's (AMZN) vice president for Kindle content, said when asked in a Manhattan federal court Friday about a meeting he attended in Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' Seattle boathouse on Sunday Jan. 24, 2010.
It was the only question in more than four hours of testimony that Grandinetti declined to answer.
Jan. 24 was a significant date in several respects. Amazon executives knew that Apple (AAPL) had scheduled a major product announcement for the following Wednesday. They suspected it was going to be a tablet that could read e-books -- a market they currently dominated.
Also, Grandinetti and two colleagues had spent the previous week in New York City meeting with the six biggest book publishers. At each of those meetings they got an earful about changing the terms with which the publishers sold their e-books to Amazon. Most were interested in switching from the so-called wholesale model, which allowed Amazon to sell their e-books for $9.99, to an agency model, where the publishers would set their own, presumably higher prices.
Although Grandinetti wouldn't say anything about the meeting in Bezos' boathouse -- not even if Bezos attended it -- documents presented into evidence showed that the next day, Jan. 25, Amazon began developing its own terms for an agency contract.
Those terms, as it turned out, were remarkably similar to the ones Apple was negotiating with the publishers, including a 30% commission on each e-book sale, price parity with competitors and a guarantee that Amazon would get access to e-books on the same day hardcover books were released.
Those terms are among the ones the government has characterized in Apple's contracts as part of an illegal scheme to fix prices.
The last one -- getting e-books in a timely fashion -- seems to have been of particular interest to Amazon's Bezos. The summer before, Random House, the largest of the big six publishers and like the others unhappy with Amazon's $9.99 e-book price, threatened to hold back its e-book titles for several months to give the hardback versions a chance to sell.
"That," Bezos wrote in an e-mail dated June 3, 2009, "would be an absolute declaration of war."
Eight months later, when Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, four of the big six were delaying their e-book releases.
Faced with the prospect of the best-selling e-books appearing on Apple's iBookstore months before they appeared on the Kindle bookstore, Amazon capitulated. On Jan. 31 it began negotiating agency deals with the publishers.
NOTE: Several readers have asked how a witness under oath could get away with not answering a direct question. You'd be amazed at how much evidence in this case has been redacted because it contained trade secrets, business data, privileged conversations with attorneys etc.. Apparently Apple's lawyer had been told in advance that there were Amazon lawyers present at the meeting in the boathouse, and he backed off as soon as Grandinetti declined to discuss what was said there.