Tuesday, August 3, 2010

WashPost: State AG probes Apple, Amazon over e-Book prices. What?

I was startled to see Amazon considered a price-raising or price-fixing culprit in this investigation by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal over e-book prices (though some of us did expect an investigation or two sooner or later over the high-price agreements (with prices that were mandatory for some like Amazon).

 Amazon fought the price increases and when they lost, made a public statement about having to 'capitulate' and were said to be insisting on assurances that if they agreed to raise prices to KEEP the publishers' books at Amazon (because the Apple Agency contracts insisted on the publishers not giving lower pricing elsewhere) that Amazon would not then be undercut in pricing by another online store.

I wrote quite a bit about this while it was happening and sourced anything remotely controversial.

If you're interested in the background, the main stories posted here were:

  . Amazon removes Macmillan books

  . Amazon surrenders to Macmillan and Steve Jobs

  . Steve Jobs pulls his puppet strings but says too much

  . Amazon plays hardball to keep lower pricing option

(I'm now staying in a hotel after the flooding in the apartment meant that 7 monster furnace-like humidifers and liquid suction machines and all their hoses and heavy vacuum-cleaner sounds made the place uninhabitable.  It was 97 degrees in the apartment when I left last night, and contractors said no windows were to be opened as that would prevent the drying needed.  I'm moved after packing in 97-degree heat, so this blog article had to be short, but the links given should give an idea of the history of this pricing battle.)

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  1. No doubt someone will twist it so that Amazon is the bad guy and Apple did what they could to limit the price increases by "generously" agreeing to set themselves as a price police and forcing publishers to not publish books at different prices from those charged by Apple elsewhere.

    Or that's how the press will report it and the courts will treat it, truth and justice be damned.

  2. sorry to hear about your flooding troubles.


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