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(The Wire)   Totally-not-a-monopoly Amazon tries a new tactic in its dispute with Hatchette Publishing: It agrees to stop blocking sales of Hatchette books IF 100% of the sales price of the book goes directly to the author and none to Amazon or Hatchette   (thewire.com) divider line 49
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699 clicks; posted to Business » on 10 Jul 2014 at 1:16 PM (3 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-10 11:05:35 AM
I think Amazon underestimates the relationship authors have with their publishers. Publishers do stuff like press, but they also edit the book. Editors are fundamental to publishing a book.

Amazon's job isn't to negotiate rates with individual authors who already have contracts with their publishers. In fact if the authors agreed to it, they would probably be in breach of contract with Hachette.

This whole idea is frankly retarded.
 
2014-07-10 11:20:59 AM
Amazon and Hatchette will then bill the authors individually for distribution costs
 
2014-07-10 11:33:00 AM
This is just a public negotiation about how ebooks should be priced.

We are in the "Appeal to public outrage" phase.
 
2014-07-10 11:45:24 AM

James!: This is just a public negotiation about how ebooks should be priced.

We are in the "Appeal to public outrage" phase.


yeah It's rather idiotic for giant, rich Amazon with hundreds of Income streams to say to a BOOK PUBLISHER  "Hey, how about until we resolve this dispute, we booth give up any revenue from the products YOU sell?"


Amazon is cruising for a DOJ bruising in my opinion, and may end up At&T'ed or at the very least Microsofted
 
2014-07-10 11:59:03 AM

Magorn: James!: This is just a public negotiation about how ebooks should be priced.

We are in the "Appeal to public outrage" phase.

yeah It's rather idiotic for giant, rich Amazon with hundreds of Income streams to say to a BOOK PUBLISHER  "Hey, how about until we resolve this dispute, we booth give up any revenue from the products YOU sell?"


Amazon is cruising for a DOJ bruising in my opinion, and may end up At&T'ed or at the very least Microsofted


It's just negotiations.  You can take a side if you want but unless Hatchette can stir up a boycott of Amazon all this shouting is just raising people's blood pressure.
 
2014-07-10 01:22:46 PM
How on earth could Amazon be a monopoly under any definition?
 
2014-07-10 01:22:49 PM

Totally-not-a-monopoly Amazon tries a new tactic in its dispute with Hatchette Publishing: It agrees to stop blocking sales of Hatchette books IF 100% of the sales price of the book goes directly to the author and none to Amazon or Hatchette


Dear schlubmitter,

How the hell did you manage to misspell 'Hachette' three times in one headline?? The correct spelling is right there in the link.
 
2014-07-10 01:25:07 PM

Magorn: Amazon is cruising for a DOJ bruising in my opinion, and may end up At&T'ed or at the very least Microsofted


It's their entire plan. Get big enough to scare legislators, go to court, and have a judge set up all kinds of protections to insulate their market position so no one else can enter. Exactly what worked for Microsoft.
 
2014-07-10 01:25:19 PM

James!: Magorn: James!: This is just a public negotiation about how ebooks should be priced.

We are in the "Appeal to public outrage" phase.

yeah It's rather idiotic for giant, rich Amazon with hundreds of Income streams to say to a BOOK PUBLISHER  "Hey, how about until we resolve this dispute, we booth give up any revenue from the products YOU sell?"


Amazon is cruising for a DOJ bruising in my opinion, and may end up At&T'ed or at the very least Microsofted

It's just negotiations.  You can take a side if you want but unless Hatchette can stir up a boycott of Amazon all this shouting is just raising people's blood pressure.


"negotiations" where one side takes a baseball bat to the other's knees and then says "Hey let's discuss our difference of opinion lake rational adults:  I want to get everything I asked for, and you don't want to get your other kneecap broken, so do we have a deal?"

Are the Sort that tend to get frowned upon by the authorities


Amazon's tactics of strangling exiting sales of the Publisher's books unless and until Hatchette gives them the price they want for new sales,  seems an awful lot like the sort of strong arm tactics that only monopolies or near monopolies can employ
 
2014-07-10 01:28:03 PM
I seriously doubt Amazon comes anywhere near the legal definition of a monopoly.
 
2014-07-10 01:29:24 PM

Magorn: James!: Magorn: James!: This is just a public negotiation about how ebooks should be priced.

We are in the "Appeal to public outrage" phase.

yeah It's rather idiotic for giant, rich Amazon with hundreds of Income streams to say to a BOOK PUBLISHER  "Hey, how about until we resolve this dispute, we booth give up any revenue from the products YOU sell?"


Amazon is cruising for a DOJ bruising in my opinion, and may end up At&T'ed or at the very least Microsofted

It's just negotiations.  You can take a side if you want but unless Hatchette can stir up a boycott of Amazon all this shouting is just raising people's blood pressure.

"negotiations" where one side takes a baseball bat to the other's knees and then says "Hey let's discuss our difference of opinion lake rational adults:  I want to get everything I asked for, and you don't want to get your other kneecap broken, so do we have a deal?"

Are the Sort that tend to get frowned upon by the authorities


Amazon's tactics of strangling exiting sales of the Publisher's books unless and until Hatchette gives them the price they want for new sales,  seems an awful lot like the sort of strong arm tactics that only monopolies or near monopolies can employ


Business isn't fair and Amazon doesn't have to carry products they don't want to. Publishers don't have to sell to Amazon.
 
2014-07-10 01:40:13 PM

Geotpf: I seriously doubt Amazon comes anywhere near the legal definition of a monopoly.


You might want to read Sherman Anti-trust act again.  You don;t have to have exclusive control over a market space, you just have to be so big that you can basically set the market at will
 
2014-07-10 01:42:35 PM
It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for them.
 
2014-07-10 01:43:10 PM

James!: Magorn: James!: Magorn: James!: This is just a public negotiation about how ebooks should be priced.

We are in the "Appeal to public outrage" phase.

yeah It's rather idiotic for giant, rich Amazon with hundreds of Income streams to say to a BOOK PUBLISHER  "Hey, how about until we resolve this dispute, we booth give up any revenue from the products YOU sell?"


Amazon is cruising for a DOJ bruising in my opinion, and may end up At&T'ed or at the very least Microsofted

It's just negotiations.  You can take a side if you want but unless Hatchette can stir up a boycott of Amazon all this shouting is just raising people's blood pressure.

"negotiations" where one side takes a baseball bat to the other's knees and then says "Hey let's discuss our difference of opinion lake rational adults:  I want to get everything I asked for, and you don't want to get your other kneecap broken, so do we have a deal?"

Are the Sort that tend to get frowned upon by the authorities


Amazon's tactics of strangling exiting sales of the Publisher's books unless and until Hatchette gives them the price they want for new sales,  seems an awful lot like the sort of strong arm tactics that only monopolies or near monopolies can employ

Business isn't fair and Amazon doesn't have to carry products they don't want to. Publishers don't have to sell to Amazon.


I disagree. Business IS fair if you are doing it right. That's the whole point of doing business to make a living rather than, say, stabbing people and stealing their stuff.

You look out for your own best interest, but it's in your own best interest to treat suppliers and other necessary people fairly.

/manage a business
 
2014-07-10 01:45:47 PM
Hachette can cry all they want. They can also set up their own ebook website that no one will ever go to. My take is it's easier to get published than ever before - literally anyone can do it. The fact is we don't 'need' these gatekeeper middlemen. Already 27 % of the top 100 books sold on Amazon are published directly with no traditional publishing house 'assisting' them. There are several huge sellers that have rejection letter folders as thick as the phone book.

/for you young whippersnappers out there 'phonebooks' are these giant antique ten-pound paper lists of phone numbers they used to hand out every year. They aren't gone yet. Some people still make them for some reason but their industry is tiny now. We are experiencing a similar contraction in traditional publishing houses. As it turns out we don't really need a bunch of failed writers telling us who has the right to be published.
 
2014-07-10 01:52:41 PM

gshepnyc: James!: Magorn: James!: Magorn: James!: This is just a public negotiation about how ebooks should be priced.

We are in the "Appeal to public outrage" phase.

yeah It's rather idiotic for giant, rich Amazon with hundreds of Income streams to say to a BOOK PUBLISHER  "Hey, how about until we resolve this dispute, we booth give up any revenue from the products YOU sell?"


Amazon is cruising for a DOJ bruising in my opinion, and may end up At&T'ed or at the very least Microsofted

It's just negotiations.  You can take a side if you want but unless Hatchette can stir up a boycott of Amazon all this shouting is just raising people's blood pressure.

"negotiations" where one side takes a baseball bat to the other's knees and then says "Hey let's discuss our difference of opinion lake rational adults:  I want to get everything I asked for, and you don't want to get your other kneecap broken, so do we have a deal?"

Are the Sort that tend to get frowned upon by the authorities


Amazon's tactics of strangling exiting sales of the Publisher's books unless and until Hatchette gives them the price they want for new sales,  seems an awful lot like the sort of strong arm tactics that only monopolies or near monopolies can employ

Business isn't fair and Amazon doesn't have to carry products they don't want to. Publishers don't have to sell to Amazon.

I disagree. Business IS fair if you are doing it right. That's the whole point of doing business to make a living rather than, say, stabbing people and stealing their stuff.

You look out for your own best interest, but it's in your own best interest to treat suppliers and other necessary people fairly.

/manage a business


Ebooks lower the production, shipping and storage costs to publish a title. Some publishers feel that they can still demand the same prices for an ebook that they charge for a hardcover.

Publishers are rightly afraid that having lower ebook prices are going to drive their market away from physical copies and lower their profits. Same thing happened when everyone switched from CDs to MP3s, and from DVDs to streaming content.

If we're talking about fair, why should I as a consumer have to pay the same for a book that has to be printed, shipped and stored as a digital copy that can be reproduced and delivered to me at almost no cost to the publisher or distributor?
 
2014-07-10 01:53:05 PM
This is how Rockefeller made all his money... muddied up the system so bad that everyone ran at a huge loss, knowing he could survive a drought longer than his competition.  They go out, and he's back to being the only one.  In fact, most of America's great "pioneers" of business and industry operated with such shady tactics so much and to such an extent that most of the things they did then are illegal now.
 
2014-07-10 01:55:03 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: It's their entire plan. Get big enough to scare legislators, go to court, and have a judge set up all kinds of protections to insulate their market position so no one else can enter. Exactly what worked for Microsoft.


No one can enter Amazon's market? Dude, are you serious? YOU can enter Amazon's market and so can anyone else. There are not many market segments easier to enter than 'online retailer.' They have kits - you can do it in a day.
 
2014-07-10 01:56:09 PM

Magorn: You might want to read Sherman Anti-trust act again.


Ok, i am not fighting you on this point, as i am not an anti-trust attorney (in fact i mostly deal in law granting  monopolies, not preventing them), but what would be the argument that they are violating Sherman?

I mean I assume we are talking about section 2?  

Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

So we need evidence that Amazon has monopoly power in the relevant market and willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic accident.   United States v. Grinnell Corp., 384 U.S. 563, 571 (1966), The "monopoly power" comprises "the power to control prices or exclude competition" from the market.  Id.  Now, Amazon controls, what ~40% of book sales? I am not sure that would qualify under the standard Sherman analysis.  

Now as to e-books, there may be a better argument, that amazon sells ~65% of the market, but that would require a certain level of granularity.  I.e. that the government would need to view e-books as their own market.  I am not sure that that is what DoJ would consider, especially as e-books make up only 30% of book sales generally.  

Any analysis would be great, as it is an interesting bit o law, and as noted not entirely my thing.
 
2014-07-10 01:57:18 PM

Magorn: James!: Magorn: James!: This is just a public negotiation about how ebooks should be priced.

We are in the "Appeal to public outrage" phase.

yeah It's rather idiotic for giant, rich Amazon with hundreds of Income streams to say to a BOOK PUBLISHER  "Hey, how about until we resolve this dispute, we booth give up any revenue from the products YOU sell?"


Amazon is cruising for a DOJ bruising in my opinion, and may end up At&T'ed or at the very least Microsofted

It's just negotiations.  You can take a side if you want but unless Hatchette can stir up a boycott of Amazon all this shouting is just raising people's blood pressure.

"negotiations" where one side takes a baseball bat to the other's knees and then says "Hey let's discuss our difference of opinion lake rational adults:  I want to get everything I asked for, and you don't want to get your other kneecap broken, so do we have a deal?"

Are the Sort that tend to get frowned upon by the authorities


Amazon's tactics of strangling exiting sales of the Publisher's books unless and until Hatchette gives them the price they want for new sales,  seems an awful lot like the sort of strong arm tactics that only monopolies or near monopolies can employ


Boo farking hoo. If Hachette didn't want to get farked then they shouldn't have been fixing prices with Apple. They got themselves into the mess they are in by causing the courts to force this negotiation. They wouldn't be having any problems whatsoever if they didn't pick the fight in the first place. Fark them.
 
2014-07-10 02:06:44 PM

Teiritzamna: Magorn: You might want to read Sherman Anti-trust act again.

Ok, i am not fighting you on this point, as i am not an anti-trust attorney (in fact i mostly deal in law granting  monopolies, not preventing them), but what would be the argument that they are violating Sherman?

I mean I assume we are talking about section 2?  

Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

So we need evidence that Amazon has monopoly power in the relevant market and willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic accident.   United States v. Grinnell Corp., 384 U.S. 563, 571 (1966), The "monopoly power" comprises "the power to control prices or exclude competition" from the market.  Id.  Now, Amazon controls, what ~40% of book sales? I am not sure that would qualify under the standard Sherman analysis.  

Now as to e-books, there may be a better argument, that amazon sells ~65% of the market, but that would require a certain level of granularity.  I.e. that the government would need to view e-books as their own market.  I am not sure that that is what DoJ would consider, especially as e-books make up only 30% of book sales generally.  

Any analysis would be great, as it is an interesting bit o law, and as noted not entirely my thing.


I think the legal theory the DOJ used in going after Apple (ironically saying they were hurting Amazon by collusion) does define E-books as an entirely separate marketplace than traditional books .  As I understand how DOJ is using anti-trust these days, it is less about naked market share, and more about market power,   So if the E-book market were a Duopoly with amazon controlling 65% of the market and say Google Books having a 35% share, the argument could be made that Amazon lacks autonomy to set whatever prices it wants because anti-competitive actions will just drive market share to it strong and established competitor. (This is essentially why it has blessed so many of the Cable TV mega mergers)

  OTOH if Amazon has 65% and Google say has 10% and a dozen entities split the remaining 25%, then CLEARLY Amazon is in a position to drive the market in any direction it wants, demand any sort of pricing from sellers and sell for pretty much whatever they want.   At that point, they effectively ARE the monopolistic player on on the market and the DOJ starts looking into it

Caveat here is that I have this from anti-trust attorneys who until recently worked for the DOJ  who  I know, not my particular specialty either
 
2014-07-10 02:07:16 PM

James!: If we're talking about fair, why should I as a consumer have to pay the same for a book that has to be printed, shipped and stored as a digital copy that can be reproduced and delivered to me at almost no cost to the publisher or distributor?


You are completely missing the point. We need the experienced execs at the publishing houses to identify and shepherd young authors, set up book tours, arrange press and readings and signings, etc. so the author can get about a buck a copy.

Just kidding - no we don't. Publishers are going to adjust and innovate or they're going to get crushed. We don't need travel agents anymore because the internet lets us look up competing airfares and hotels ourselves. That never used to happen. Lots of successful bands realease music and tour with no big label. Never used to happen. Realtor's fees are falling because we can see all the listings and sales data and many people forego them altogether. Never used to happen. Publishing houses aren't going away. But there's going to be fewer of them and they will be tightening their margins. They are going to have to let go of the old models and adapt the same as every other industry that has been affected by ecommerce in the 21st century.

All hachette is doing is crying. They want to keep the same infrastructure and pricing model and profit share they had before. But they won't be able to - sucks to be them.
 
2014-07-10 02:11:37 PM

Magorn: I think the legal theory the DOJ used in going after Apple (ironically saying they were hurting Amazon by collusion)


Was 'hurting amazon' part of that case? Not that it matters  - that they colluded with publishers to set prices higher is just a fact.
 
2014-07-10 02:13:53 PM

Magorn: OTOH if Amazon has 65% and Google say has 10% and a dozen entities split the remaining 25%, then CLEARLY Amazon is in a position to drive the market in any direction it wants, demand any sort of pricing from sellers and sell for pretty much whatever they want.   At that point, they effectively ARE the monopolistic player on on the market and the DOJ starts looking into it

Caveat here is that I have this from anti-trust attorneys who until recently worked for the DOJ  who  I know, not my particular specialty either


Cool.  Thanks!

As far as i know, the ebook market is split between Amazon (65%) and Barnes & Noble + Apple (35%),  There isn't much else out there.  So likely the cable company analogy is correct and this explains why DoJ isn't on Amazon like white on rice.  

Danke again.
 
2014-07-10 02:16:46 PM

JohnBigBootay: that they colluded with publishers to set prices higher is just a fact.


This. And now they expect us to feel sorry for them because negotiations aren't going well when they aren't allowed to cheat. What a joke. I don't care if this puts them out of business. The authors can take their business somewhere else that isn't run by crooked assholes. All of the publishers need to STFU and take their comeuppance on this one.
 
2014-07-10 02:27:22 PM
And if publishers were smart they'd take a lesson from the music and film industries.

Remember what happened when digital copies of music and movies were overpriced?  We all became goddamn pirates.
 
2014-07-10 02:36:36 PM

stonicus: This is how Rockefeller made all his money... muddied up the system so bad that everyone ran at a huge loss, knowing he could survive a drought longer than his competition.  They go out, and he's back to being the only one.  In fact, most of America's great "pioneers" of business and industry operated with such shady tactics so much and to such an extent that most of the things they did then are illegal now.


Not really, but whatevs
 
2014-07-10 02:44:36 PM

umad: This. And now they expect us to feel sorry for them because negotiations aren't going well when they aren't allowed to cheat. What a joke. I don't care if this puts them out of business. The authors can take their business somewhere else that isn't run by crooked assholes. All of the publishers need to STFU and take their comeuppance on this one.


Exactly. Protectionism is what the publishers have been up to.

As for amazon and anti-trust I'll just say that I think the powers that be have better shiat to do than coming down on a corporation that has taken actions that have resulted in more authors making it to market while taking home a higher percentage of proceeds of book sales AND lower prices for consumers. What is going unsaid is that what all the old-guard really fears is amazons growing influence not just as a bookseller, but as a publisher themselves. They prove on a daily basis that you can make money publishing ebooks and take a far smaller cut than traditional publishers do.
 
2014-07-10 03:33:18 PM
It would be nice if someone could figure out just what's going on, cause one gets the sense that things aren't necessarily how they're being reported here.
 
2014-07-10 03:42:06 PM
I just want DRM-free ebooks. iTunes did it for music. Come on, amazon.
 
2014-07-10 03:44:13 PM

bdub77: I think Amazon underestimates the relationship authors have with their publishers. Publishers do stuff like press, but they also edit the book. Editors are fundamental to publishing a book.

Amazon's job isn't to negotiate rates with individual authors who already have contracts with their publishers. In fact if the authors agreed to it, they would probably be in breach of contract with Hachette.

This whole idea is frankly retarded.


Of course.  And of course, they know that it's not possible.

which is why they have nothing to lose by suggesting it.  And they gain the fig leaf of "we care about the authors!"
 
2014-07-10 03:46:03 PM

JohnBigBootay: Hachette can cry all they want. They can also set up their own ebook website that no one will ever go to.



Baen did, well before they sold ebooks through amazon


plus they were  drm free
 
2014-07-10 03:46:40 PM

laivincolmo: I just want DRM-free ebooks. iTunes did it for music. Come on, amazon.


buy from baen
 
2014-07-10 03:53:18 PM

Teiritzamna: Magorn: OTOH if Amazon has 65% and Google say has 10% and a dozen entities split the remaining 25%, then CLEARLY Amazon is in a position to drive the market in any direction it wants, demand any sort of pricing from sellers and sell for pretty much whatever they want.   At that point, they effectively ARE the monopolistic player on on the market and the DOJ starts looking into it

Caveat here is that I have this from anti-trust attorneys who until recently worked for the DOJ  who  I know, not my particular specialty either

Cool.  Thanks!

As far as i know, the ebook market is split between Amazon (65%) and Barnes & Noble + Apple (35%),  There isn't much else out there.  So likely the cable company analogy is correct and this explains why DoJ isn't on Amazon like white on rice.  

Danke again.


Yeah, I can see Amazon easily having a legal monopoly on ebooks.  I was earlier talking about, um, book books when I said they didn't have a monopoly.  Costco/Walmart/Kmart/B&N/mom&pops/etc. provide enough legal competition there (even though much of that is bricks and mortar).
 
2014-07-10 03:54:14 PM
E-books are worth about $5, tops.  The incremental cost of delivery is zero.
 
2014-07-10 04:01:45 PM
laivincolmo:
I just want DRM-free ebooks. iTunes did it for music. Come on, amazon.

That's a publisher/author decision. Amazon offers DRM-free publishing, and quite a few titles are already available that way. Cory Doctorow releases his e-books without DRM on Amazon and the other outlets.
 
2014-07-10 04:17:00 PM

Marcus Aurelius: E-books are worth about $5, tops.  The incremental cost of delivery is zero.


I agree.

Whenever you ask people why they prefer print books over ebooks, the answer is almost always "I prefer the smell, the touch, the physicality of real books."

That's what the are paying for.  The words contained therein are secondary, and obviously not worth very much.
 
2014-07-10 04:32:07 PM
Limited time offer.
 
2014-07-10 04:41:37 PM

Marcus Aurelius: E-books are worth about $5, tops.  The incremental cost of delivery is zero.


Well now let's break that down some

as we point out any monkey with a typewriter can sell an e-book on Amazon and it seems many of them do.  There are some excellent self published books but there are many many awful ones.

Part of what you are paying for when you buy from someone like Hachette is an imprimatur, sort fo a guarantee that the tome meets a certain minimum level of quality.  Employing the editors and talent scouts to make that happen has a cost above and beyond the printing and distribution ones
 
2014-07-10 04:54:30 PM

Magorn: Marcus Aurelius: E-books are worth about $5, tops.  The incremental cost of delivery is zero.

Well now let's break that down some

as we point out any monkey with a typewriter can sell an e-book on Amazon and it seems many of them do.  There are some excellent self published books but there are many many awful ones.

Part of what you are paying for when you buy from someone like Hachette is an imprimatur, sort fo a guarantee that the tome meets a certain minimum level of quality.  Employing the editors and talent scouts to make that happen has a cost above and beyond the printing and distribution ones


Online reviews.
 
2014-07-10 05:03:34 PM

James!: Online reviews.


You mean like where you pay someone 1000 bucks to give you a bunch of 4 and 5 star reviews even though your work sucks?
 
2014-07-10 05:10:10 PM

Magorn: Part of what you are paying for when you buy from someone like Hachette is an imprimatur, sort fo a guarantee that the tome meets a certain minimum level of quality.


People who would like to pay more for that 'service' may certainly do so. Here's one book they advertise and all of the dozens of places one may go to buy it online.

http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/sarah-lotz/the-three/9780316 24 2905/buy/#ebooks

There's a partial list of all the places one may go to do so. Note that Amazon is not listed. Perhaps hachette should make their own ereader and compete in the marketplace? Pretty sure amazon didn't invent selling books - they just innovated and completely took over an industry nearly as old as commerce itself.

Traditional publishers are doing the same thing music and film publishers did in the early days of the web. Fiddle while roam burns. Then make a halfhearted run at protectionism. Then cry openly while the big mean bully beats them up in front of all their friends.

hachette and their ilk have been fleecing authors for generations. The same way the music labels did to recording artists. And now they want sympathy. fark 'em.
 
2014-07-10 06:02:48 PM

JohnBigBootay: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: It's their entire plan. Get big enough to scare legislators, go to court, and have a judge set up all kinds of protections to insulate their market position so no one else can enter. Exactly what worked for Microsoft.

No one can enter Amazon's market? Dude, are you serious? YOU can enter Amazon's market and so can anyone else. There are not many market segments easier to enter than 'online retailer.' They have kits - you can do it in a day.


Amazon is not exclusively online retail. Media streaming, content licenses, large scale logistics contracts to act as an intermediary, and especially server banks.

One can enter their field, just like one can open a general store across the street from a Walmart. But comparing the two doesn't work for scale. The general store may prosper in its location, but to actually challenge the big boy in a market setting is effectively gone. Amazon has comparable leverage on e-commerce and they want to lock vendors into their standards for data security, payment processing, shipping contracts, and labor rates. THAT is controlling the damn market.
 
2014-07-10 06:54:32 PM

Magorn: Marcus Aurelius: E-books are worth about $5, tops.  The incremental cost of delivery is zero.

Well now let's break that down some

as we point out any monkey with a typewriter can sell an e-book on Amazon and it seems many of them do.  There are some excellent self published books but there are many many awful ones.

Part of what you are paying for when you buy from someone like Hachette is an imprimatur, sort fo a guarantee that the tome meets a certain minimum level of quality.  Employing the editors and talent scouts to make that happen has a cost above and beyond the printing and distribution ones


50 Shades of Gray pretty much destroyed my faith in any minimum level of quality
 
2014-07-10 07:02:02 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: Amazon is not exclusively online retail.


Agreed

Media streaming, content licenses, large scale logistics contracts to act as an intermediary, and especially server banks.

Absolutely. But they have plenty of large scale and profitable competitors in those fields. We won't be seeing anything antitrust related in those venues.

One can enter their field, just like one can open a general store across the street from a Walmart. But comparing the two doesn't work for scale. The general store may prosper in its location, but to actually challenge the big boy in a market setting is effectively gone. Amazon has comparable leverage on e-commerce and they want to lock vendors into their standards for data security, payment processing, shipping contracts, and labor rates. THAT is controlling the damn market.

Good luck with that. All of the above has led to lower prices, better customer service and more selection for consumers. I love that we have antitrust laws, I really do. As soon as someone shows me how amazon is harming the consumer I'll get on board but it ain't gonna be easy because I think most consumers love amazon to pieces. They like the service, the selection, the shipping price and speed and the enormous selection.
 
2014-07-10 07:09:50 PM

MugzyBrown: How on earth could Amazon be a monopoly under any definition?


Because derp

.

Marcus Aurelius: E-books are worth about $5, tops.  The incremental cost of delivery is zero.


This.

Kaervik: 50 Shades of Gray pretty much destroyed my faith in any minimum level of quality


And this.

Fark the publishers.  They are as bad as the movie producers.
 
2014-07-10 08:27:49 PM
JohnBigBootay:

Traditional publishers are doing the same thing music and film publishers did in the early days of the web. Fiddle while roam burns. Then make a halfhearted run at protectionism. Then cry openly while the big mean bully beats them up in front of all their friends.

hachette and their ilk have been fleecing authors for generations. The same way the music labels did to recording artists. And now they want sympathy. fark 'em.


So much this.

I'm having a hard time finding sympathy for anybody in this fight other than the authors.
 
2014-07-11 06:49:25 AM

JohnBigBootay: Magorn: Part of what you are paying for when you buy from someone like Hachette is an imprimatur, sort fo a guarantee that the tome meets a certain minimum level of quality.

People who would like to pay more for that 'service' may certainly do so. Here's one book they advertise and all of the dozens of places one may go to buy it online.

http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/sarah-lotz/the-three/9780316 24 2905/buy/#ebooks

There's a partial list of all the places one may go to do so. Note that Amazon is not listed. Perhaps hachette should make their own ereader and compete in the marketplace? Pretty sure amazon didn't invent selling books - they just innovated and completely took over an industry nearly as old as commerce itself.

Traditional publishers are doing the same thing music and film publishers did in the early days of the web. Fiddle while roam burns. Then make a halfhearted run at protectionism. Then cry openly while the big mean bully beats them up in front of all their friends.

hachette and their ilk have been fleecing authors for generations. The same way the music labels did to recording artists. And now they want sympathy. fark 'em.


Roam?
 
2014-07-11 09:56:59 AM
Roam?

It's an historically important city in Italy. They changed the spelling recently.
 
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