Apple confirms Amazon ebooks bendover, EU watchdog drops bone
Bezos tosses up grappling hook, climbs into walled discount garden
Four of the major publishers – Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and the Hachette Book Group – and Apple have agreed to pacify Eurocrats by changing their electronic book terms. The offer, discussed here back in September, was formally accepted yesterday.
The agreement prohibits conditions introduced by publishers in their deals with Apple to maintain their margins. The four publishers will suspend "most favoured nation" conditions for five years and allow other retailers - ie, continent-gobbling tat store Amazon - to discount ebooks.
Pearson's Penguin, which is merging with Bertelsmann's Random House, won't have anything to do with it. Neither Penguin nor Macmillan - which has been feisty with Amazon to the extent of pulling its wares from the retailer - are settling with a parallel action in the US initiated by the Department of Justice.
Critics of the deal argue that short-term benefits to the consumer come at the cost of long-term benefits to the supply industry - the publishers themselves. ®
Critics of the deal....
My criticism would be that Apple and it's co-defendants have been given a green light to take control of the e-book market in, at most, 5 years time.
Regardless of who which flavour of deal favours, the one thing which the Amazon version has which the Apple version does not is the possibility of competition. The 'most favoured nation' clause in the Apple deal means that not matter what, no-one can have a better deal than Apple. Why this was allowed to stand is very hard to understand, such a controlling position should not be permitted to be open-ended.
This is the most objective piece of reporting I've seen from Andrew in a long time.
No opinions, no bias. Just reporting.
HOW CAN WE MOAN ABOUT THIS!?
How is it bad for the publisher though? Amazon are discounting the books and selling at a loss, the publishers are not saying "oh, okay, you can buy the books from us for 50% cheaper" so if anything it's good for the publisher as they will sell more books and make more money.