back to article Apple and publisher pals hold up US and EU watchdogs

Apple and two major publishing houses are holding out on settling the ebook price-fixing investigations from the US and Europe. While Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Hachette Book Group are all keen to reach an agreement with regulators in the US and EU, Penguin, Macmillan and Apple are all reluctant to shake hands on the …

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"Apple and the publishers didn't like that model for ebooks because Amazon was selling books cheaply or even at a loss in order to promote sales of its Kindle ereaders. "

Here's a thought. Why not try to compete against your competitors instead of screwing over the customer.

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Anonymous Coward

Here's thought

Hey Amazon, stop ripping off authors and publishers and squeezing the market with your crappy terms. While you're at it pay the tax you owe the UK government and stop treating your warehouse staff like slaves

I don't think either side is coming out of this well. Amazon aren't squeaky clean at all. Their time of scrutiny will come

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Here's thought

I very rarely post AC, but I have to in this circumstance...

I work for Amazon, at one of their largest and busiest Fulfilment Centres, and while there have been issues in the past (More than a few years ago) there is absolutely no 'treating warehouse staff like slaves' In fact if you were to come into one of the FCs and speak to any of the staff you would find almost everyone extremely happy in their jobs, and motivated by Performance Related Bonuses.

Also, ALL staff who work for Amazon - including Senior IT Staff such as myself spend time working on the shop floor so that we understand every process I've worked in receiving, stowing, picking and packing and found them all interesting in their own way (except maybe packing - didn't like that much) - there's no 'them-and-us' here.

We do have quite a bit of a problem with ne'er do wells, you know the type - perpetually on benefits, and only apply for a job in order to keep their job-seekers allowance. They have a hell of a fucking shock when they come here and are expected to work for their money. They are the ones who tend to complain - and they're also the ones who get the boot when they don't pull their weight, which after working public sector for many a year, where hard work and competence is ignored, and laziness and incompetence is rewarded with a risk-free life-long job, and final-salary pension - it's a breath of fresh air.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Here's thought

Thank you Mr Management, your check is in the post

http://www.helium.com/items/1183645-selling-on-amazon-marketing-a-self-published-book-book-royalties

The rip-off is that Amazon will also insist that you sell books to them at a sixty percent discount of the (bookshop) retail price of your book.

http://www.teleread.com/paul-biba/the-amazon-kindle-swindle-authors-people-are-stealing-your-work/

Did you know that your copyrighted work (which took you months or years to write) might right now be sitting on Amazon.com and being sold as a Kindle ebook by some charlatan

http://www.derekhaines.ch/vandal/2012/02/amazon-uk-why-the-rip-off/

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017915696_amazonchat05.html

On slavery

http://techland.time.com/2011/09/21/amazon-employees-carried-out-of-115-degree-warehouse-by-paramedics/

That's the company you work for, a price fixing, slave driving bunch of Bezos

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Here's thought

I'm not management - like I said - I'm senior IT. And it's spelt 'Cheque'.

So everything in your reply bar the last link is irrelevant to my post. I was referring solely to your assertion that Amazon - as a company - treats its staff like slaves, which it doesn't, in my experience. If that story is true. then the the managers of the FC in that story should be prosecuted, as I would imagine that there are Health & Safety laws in the US, as there are here in the UK, which specify a maximum temperature at which it is legal to work in. If not, then it is the fault of the US Government for allowing this.

I also note that you've made no reference to personal experience - which leads me to believe that your entire 'knowledge' on the matter comes from mass media, and American Mass media at that, which makes it extremely suspicious.

I'm not saying that it didn't happen, but you are citing a single incident which occurred at one site of the largest online retailer in the world. I mean they have nearly 30 FCs in the US alone, if this 'slavery' issue (and I think you should probably check the dictionary definition of slavery) was genuinely a company wide issue, don't you think that there would be a lot more complaints about it?

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Silver badge

Authors get a cut per book sold even if the ultimate seller is selling it at a loss. Amazon was increasing book sales by lowering prices, therefore helping both authors and consumers, while screwing it's competitors in ebooks and the publishers.

Apple's approach increased prices to be able to take a larger slice themselves and give a larger slice to the publisher (per book), but higher prices mean decreased sales. That screws both the author and the consumer.

So I'm with Amazon on this one, they acted as a single player in a market where they were not a monopoly (though a significant player), and were commercially successful through aggressive but legal means. Apple and the publishers basically ganged together to form a cartel that would exclude everyone else to either join them or else leave the market.

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FAIL

Not cheap anymore!

I've recently (last week) looked at some e-books for my Amazon Kindle. The prices, at least for new books, are nothing like cheap anymore. They are now higher than the price of a paperback. For example, I payed CDN $15.34 for Sanderson's "An Alloy of Law". I think I'm going to stick to older books on my Kindle for a while!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not cheap anymore!

Looks like Apple and the publishers plans are working then.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not cheap anymore!

Sure does. They're levelling the playing field so that Amazon can't get away with it's sharp practice anymore.

Amazon know they're gonna get scrutinised at some point and they're terrified. They have to respond

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Anonymous Coward

If I were to pay Apple's prices, I might just as well buy the hard copy instead.

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Anonymous Coward

Then get the hard copy scanned at 1dollarscan or bookscan dot us and you have an ebook. Another advantage, you can buy the book used, get it scanned, and you get a drm free book. Agency pricing can shove *that* right down their throat.

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Let's put some perspective into this agency model - you pay a few dollars more than what you would pay Amazon based on their wholesale model.

What can a few bucks get you nowadays and I believe even a big mac cost more than that.

It's not the end of the world and give your neighborhood bookstores a fighting chance against a big bully like Amazon.

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Anonymous Coward

Sloppy journalism at el Reg again

" - where publishers set the price and take a 30 per cent cut - "

NO. If the writer had cared to read other reports on The Register , they would know that the line should read "- where publishers set the price and Apple takes a 30% cut - "

There have been a number of comments lately about errors in stories and mis-reporting on El Reg. It gives the impression that there is no editor checking things before publicatiion.

If The Register is meant to be taken seriously, then the management should get a grip.

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"This price was set by the publisher"

@Chris Gray: Yes, some Kindle books ARE more expensive than paper- or in some cases, hard-back. Why? Well, you'll see on Amazon's page for them, the little phrase "This price was set by the publisher".

In other words, the reason the price is high is because of the cartel that Apple et al are running. Amazon can't sell them as cheap as they want to.

In fact, the precise point of the El Reg article. :)

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