Free Marketer's Conundrum DOJ vs. Apple Antitrust Settlement

  1. GA Anderson profile image84
    GA Andersonposted 4 years ago

    Could this be a case of the DOJ being both right and wrong on one issue?

    Warning to Free Market absolutists - look before you leap, don't judge this book by it's cover.
    (sorry, couldn't resist that cheesy bit )

    Here's the deal:
    DOJ wins antitrust suit accusing Apple and five major publishers of colluding to artificially raise ebook prices.

    It seems Steve Jobs got together with R. Murdock, (and later four other publishers), and inked a deal to price best seller ebook releases through Apple iPad apps, (which only linked to Apple's store), at $12.95 and $14.95

    Sounds like price fixing, right? Well, maybe not yet. Because that agreement was only for Apple store sales. Why can't a store owner and its suppliers set their own prices?

    But, the plot thickens. Apparently, including Apple,  these publishers are the prime movers in the field. And these publishers told Amazon, (which sells best sellers at $9.99), B&N, and the other MAJOR book sellers, "Hey, you have to raise your prices or we won't sell to you!"
    (Note: Amazon is apparently willing to take a loss on some titles - paying $14 wholesale price, and selling for $9.99)

    Fearing a loss of inventory supply, (Standard Oil history buffs experience a pang of Deja vu'), Amazon agreed. Was this collusion? Or just the rights of businesses to conduct their affairs.

    source: … e24447.htm

    But the DOJ settlement offer will force Apple to include Amazon and other ebook seller links in Apple's iPad ebook  Apps.

    Hmmm.  That doesn't sound right.

    source: … lRpZesO.99

    As a capitalistic Free Market supporter, (but not an absolutist), I agree with the court's antitrust and collusion findings against Apple and the publishers - but not with the DOJ's proposed settlement requiring Apple to include competitor's links...

    I think...
    Apple got caught trying to manipulate the market to the consumer's detriment - and should have to "pay the piper" (more cheese)

    But, I don't agree that a business should be required to enable or advertise its competitors.