A Series Of Fascinating Events

Man, it’s been a very interesting day in the news.  Riots in England, Presidential doldrums, Stock market zig-zags…and two articles about Apple.

First, there’s this one, which announces the kick-off of Amazon’s new kindle cloud reader.  So how cool is this?  Apple tells them they can’t sell things through their apps without giving Apple a 30% cut, and so Amazon takes the in-app purchasing button out of their apps.  Then a day or two later, they release this, which completely circumvents the app, and Apple’s purchasing restrictions.  ROFL.  You gotta love when smart people figure out a way to overcome obstacles in their path!

And then we have this one.  Apparently some lawyers are suing over the under reporting of ebook royalties that Kris Rusch pointed out a few weeks back.  The suit was announced in the last couple days.  Now, today, it turns out those same lawyers are suing five of the “Big 6”, and Apple, for price collusion in ebooks.  Specifically, the suit alleges that the agency pricing method, and related efforts to keep ebook prices at or above print prices, violates the anti-collusion articles of our various anti-trust laws.

I’m not a lawyer, but I was wondering how long it would take someone to make this case.  Passive Guy alluded a little while back to the possibility that the “standard” 25% ebook royalty could possibly be considered collusion, and wondered if someone would try to challenge that, too.  Interesting, eh?

I’m a bit confused as to why Apple got singled out in this suit though.  Did they do something above and beyond what the other ebook outlets did?  I seem to recall negotiations between Amazon and the larger publishers that ended in the agency pricing policy a few months back.  Why not name Amazon also?

Regardless, it’s a bad day to be Apple. 

Too bad, in a way.  I rather like Apple’s products: I use Macs, AppleTV, and the iphone and ipad.  But they do sometimes irk me with their obstinance (Flash support, anyone?) and closed policies.  The in-app purchasing flap in particular seemed a bit over the top to me, so I’m glad Amazon found a way to give them the finger over it.

It’ll be interesting to see how these two cases play out.


Oh yeah, I just recalled.  This post marks a bit of a milestone: my 100th post on this blog.  Pretty neat, eh?  🙂