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DoJ investigation reveals Amazon-Apple collusion that almost was

Posted: , by Scott H.

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DoJ investigation reveals Amazon-Apple collusion that almost was
We reported this morning on the hot news that the Department of Justice is suing Apple and several publishers for collusion and price fixing. Most of the publishers have now settled, which basically means that from the consumers’ point of view it’s all over but the shouting – the terms of the settlement means that most of the publishing industry has already agreed to end their deal with Apple, and to renegotiate their deals with Amazon and other ebook sellers to allow for price competition.

One thing that may never be settled, but is very unsettling, is a throw-away line from the DoJ report that indicates that prior to Apple’s alleged collusion with the publishing industry, they had met with and contemplated colluding with Amazon itself. The idea was to split up the media market, with Apple ceding ebook publishing to Amazon, and in return Amazon would step aside when it comes to music and movies. Specifically, the DoJ report says:

In addition to considering competitive entry at that time, though, Apple also contemplated illegally dividing the digital content world with Amazon, allowing each to “own the category” of its choice — audio/video to Apple and e-books to Amazon.


That sort of deal would have let both companies leverage their near-monopoly to price things however they wanted. We should all be happy that Apple and Amazon didn’t pursue that path, but in the meantime we’d love to hear more about this deal, how far it got, and what eventually scuttled it. This is one of those times when Apple benefits from not having a “don’t be evil” motto a la Google – can you imagine how hard pundits would be coming down on Google if they were caught in this situation?

Since the DoJ is not likely to try and punish Apple and Amazon for things they only contemplated, we probably won’t hear much more about the Apple-Amazon conspiracy. But with this sort of thing getting outed, it makes you wonder how often other companies get away with it.

source: DoJ ruling via AllThingsD

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posted on 11 Apr 2012, 17:23 1

1. pongkie (Posts: 493; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


wow that was quick just like organized criminals

posted on 11 Apr 2012, 18:06

2. saiki4116 (Posts: 325; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)


This is one of those times when Apple benefits from not having a “don’t be evil” motto a la Google – can you imagine how hard pundits would be coming down on Google if they were caught in this situation?

Looks like you are sad that google didnt get caught for theses sort of things.

posted on 11 Apr 2012, 19:25 3

5. Scott_H (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)


Not at all; I tend to sympathize with Google when the tech media holds them to a separate standard from everyone else. But the reality is that a situation like this would have resulted in far worse publicity for Google then it does Apple.

posted on 11 Apr 2012, 20:02 3

6. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


thats because apples motto is "how can we be evil today".

every day its a new piece of BS about apples dirty back room dealings. Seriously. How can you people continue to defend this company blindly? The arrogance and the complete disrespect for law and human rights is shining right in your face but all you can see is a pretty apple logo.

Its sickening.

posted on 11 Apr 2012, 18:16 4

3. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6129; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


DOJ should also see how Apple keeps getting away with it's patent law suits

posted on 11 Apr 2012, 19:02 1

4. medicci37 (Posts: 593; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


Apple knows that even when they get caught, The profits they make will seriously outweigh any fines the government hits them with.

posted on 12 Apr 2012, 02:26 1

7. roscuthiii (Posts: 1785; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


They really need to take a look at Apple and start thinking about splitting the company up.
An iTunes company. An iOS company. And a Mac company.

posted on 12 Apr 2012, 04:42

8. emvxl (Posts: 12; Member since: 29 Sep 2009)


Looks like Apple is the new Microsoft.

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