Thursday, June 6, 2013

DOJ-APPLE Trial quotes...AmazonFresh delivery service may launch in Los Angeles within a week...The Kindle Daily Deals page now includes "10 Top-Rated Deal Books at $3.99 or Less"Kindle for iOS app gets another update, v3.8, for layout enhancements

Amazon working in earnest to expand 1-Day Grocery Delivery in effect

NPR's Maria Godoy points us to Joe Nicholson's AP report that Amazon may expand its fresh grocery delivery service (tested in Seattle since 2007) to Los Angeles possibly "as early as this week" and delivery in San Francisco "is on the horizon for later this year, according to Reuters and adds that "By 2014, the company could expand grocery delivery to as many as 40 major urban areas."

  Apparently, it's popular in Seattle and its features include "no minimum order, pre-dawn delivery (the most popular option) and the ability to choose the time when your food shows up. You can also opt to have your groceries dropped off in a chilled tote bag."

  In Seattle, this includes items from favorite vendors, "from artisan breads and doughnuts to craft beers" from a popular local market and "deliveries from local restaurants."  A retailNet Group analyst expects Amazon to do something similar as it expands into LA and SF.

  The Reuters report references two people who "were not authorized to speak publicly," one of whom said that if the two new locations "go well," they may launch AmazonFresh in "20 other urban areas in 2014, including some outside the United States," with a target of "as many as 40 markets."

  As usual, the thinking seems to be, the reports say, that Amazon doesn't have to make a profit off these but this would be foot-in-door purchasing on a more regular basis, and it's expected that those customers would be interested in buying other, more profitable, products online at Amazon.

  It's a daunting effort, as fresh food doesn't stay fresh for long.  Wal-Mart is said to be testing something similar in the San Francisco Bay Area and already operates one in Britain.  See Reuters for considerably more detail.

Newish Kindle Book Deal
The ongoing Kindle Daily Deal page now also includes "10 Top-Rated Deal Books, $3.99 or Less" as well as the monthly specials.

IN OTHER NEWS - quotes and links
Quotes from DoJ-Apple Trial
Web news is large with the Apple and Big5 ebook pricing trial now going on and it's fairly dramatic as each publisher is asked to step up and describe the interactions with Apple, and yesterday Amazon's VP of Kindle Content, Russell Grandinetti, testified about the tense conferences with publishers back in 2010 and the threats that went back and forth.

 Just picking one generic story randomly from a "Breaking News - Business"-focused site, I see what shows up in most news stories last night:
' Carolyn Reidy, chief executive of Simon & Schuster...testified she met with Apple executive Eddy Cue and that [she] was aware that other big publishers were in talks with the California tech giant to end the pricing model imposed by Amazon...

  "You left the meeting understanding Apple didn't want [Amazon's price of US$9.99] to continue?" [US DoJ lawyer Lawrence] Buterman asked.
  "Clearly," Reidy responded.
The Justice Department also presented evidence of Reidy's telephone contacts with other publishing CEOs during the Apple negotiations.

  Reidy denied discussing the Apple talks with them, but the government introduced an email from Reidy to Cue, in which she said she "looked forward" to his progress in “herding us cats." '
Remember that the case is now focused on Apple as "ringleader" ("facilitator and go-between") and all the publishers involved have settled, albeit for a relatively low $164 million and stopping the current arrangement and a promise not to try Agency plan again for a couple of years.

PaidContent's Laura Hazard Owen brings up, despite S&S's Reidy arguing "that Apple did not require the publisher to move Amazon and other accounts to the agency model":
' A related, charged point raised by the government was an internal mail to the S&S team on January 4, in which Reidy writes in part about how to respond to Eddy Cue’s proposed Apple terms, noting that ‘we are in total agreement that…agency model should hold for all retailers.’” '

PaidContent's Mathew Ingram wrote, on June 4, a story headlined, "The DoJ has an open-and-shut case," calling the evidence "overwhelming."

  "...the fact is that the DoJ has what amounts to a slam-dunk case: no matter how you look at it, the company colluded with publishers to keep e-book prices high."

  Ingram reiterates that Apple's argument that boils down to "But your honor, we had to do this because our competitor is too large and it was the only way we could compete with them” just won't fly in an anti-trust case focusing on collusion.
' ...antitrust law in the U.S. isn’t designed to help prevent competitors from being squashed by a large player in an industry — even if that player has what amounts to a monopoly position.  The key point is whether that particular company’s behavior alters or damages the marketplace in a way that harms consumers.  And when it comes to that, the DoJ is on rock-solid ground. '

  As Kindle owners will remember, and it came up in Grandinetti's testimony yesterday, Amazon was told that if they didn't agree to the Agency agreement as set up (for the higher pricing forced on them), then they would not get Kindle editions of the popular new books until several months after the release of the print book.  This was not an attractive option for them nor for Kindle owners.

  Publishers Weekly's Calvin Reid reminds everyone of a strange faux pas Steve Jobs made which this blog pointed out as significant ("says too much") when this was all happening.  See that link for the video of what Jobs said to Mossberg.  It was not widely circulated but eventually would be big in this case.

  He gave away to Walt Mossberg that he knew the prices would be fixed, in the brief video'd interview after the iPad launch, in which Mossberg asked why anyone would buy a book for $14.99 at Apple's store when they could get it for $9.99 at Amazon.

  When Jobs replied that, in effect, Amazon would not be selling the mentioned book at a lower cost than Apple, and Mossberg couldn't understand why -- in reply to Mossberg's question, "You mean you won’t be $14.99? Or they won’t be $9.99" -- Jobs would smile and say, "The prices will be the same.." (See the video in two versions.)

  I was flabbergasted by that at the time, and The Register, UK's Brid-Aine Parnell reports on a piece of email evidence submitted (the wording in that email is unpleasant but it was said by the general counsel of Simon and Schuster and not stated by me -- I just thought Jobs's words were really unwise).
' In further evidence to support its allegations, the DoJ showed an email from Eliza Rivlin, then general counsel of publisher Simon & Schuster, who was horrified that Jobs had made the comments [in that video'd interview].

“I can’t believe Jobs made the statement… Incredibly stupid,” she wrote.
  The Department of Justice's lawyers suggested Rivlin was incredulous because Jobs’ comments pointed out their conspiracy.  But Apple lawyers said that the Feds were twisting the facts to paint a “sinister” picture of Apple. '

  Trial Exhibits
  For those intrigued by all this and wanting to know more, see the actual Trial Exhibits for this case.

  A fascinating read, because of the inclusion of information from voluminous emails never meant to be public, is the PDF file for Plaintiffs' Proposed Findings of Fact.  It's more interesting than most mystery or detective books I've read, and it's still up to the reader to sort out what it all really means.

New Kindle for Apple iOS update, v3.8
NEW: (Get the free app/update at iTunes.)
Line Spacing - loose, normal, and tight line spacing options change the page layout to suit your reading preference
Multipage Highlights – highlight long passages that span multiple pages for added convenience
Print Replica Textbooks notebook improvements – filter by type: notes, bookmarks, and highlights by color; Sync starred notes between devices
Accessibility Improvements – select a higher maximum font size, bug fixes
Bug Fixes/Stability Improvements

Current Articles Reference:
1. June's current Kindle and Kindle Book deals info here:
2. All Kindle Fire HD tablets $20 off through June 8 + some other Amazon specials.  Has an interesting price comparison.
3. Large E-Ink Kindle DX Graphite available again, almost as pricey as before.
4. Software Update x.4.1 for HD and 2nd Gen Kindle Fire tablets
5. Current worldwide listing of Kindle devices

  For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
Temporarily-free books - Non-classics
USA: by:
   Publication Date  
   Bestselling   High-ratings

UK: PubDate   Popular

The Kindle Daily Deal

What is 3G? and "WiFi"?       Battery Care

Highly-rated under $1
,  Newest: $1-$2, $2-$3
Most Popular Free K-Books
U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
   Top 100 free
   Top 100 free

Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.

USEFUL for your Kindle Keyboard (U.S. only, currently):
  99c Notepad 1.1,   99c Calculator,
  99c Calendar,   99c Converter

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button

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