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Old Apr 14, 2014, 09:59 PM   #1
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Compliance Monitor Says Relationship With Apple Has 'Significantly Improved'




In his first report to US District Judge Denise Cote, external compliance monitor Michael Bromwich says that his relationship with Apple has "significantly improved" since Apple was ordered to hire him to ensure the company complies with antitrust requirements in the wake of the e-book antitrust case, reports the Wall Street Journal.
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After the Second Circuit panel issued its decision in early February, we took steps to reestablish contact and to attempt to "reset" our relationship with Apple, as this Court had directed during the January 13, 2014 proceedings and in its January 16, 2014 opinion. Those steps prompted constructive responses from Apple. As more fully described in this Report, the relationship between Apple and the monitoring team has significantly improved over the past six weeks and has become more focused on achieving the goal of enhancing Apple's Antitrust Compliance Program pursuant to the Final Judgment.
Bromwich goes on to say that there's been a shift in tone in his relationship with Apple, largely due to the new in-house point of contact that Apple has assigned to work with Bromwich and his team. The new contact has helped Bromwich and his team attain more information and provide a greater commitment to solving disputes than its predecessor, although Bromwich also notes the information was largely about Apple "generally" and that more would be required.

This is a promising turn in a relationship that has so far been troubled, with Apple complaining of Bromwich's exorbitant fees and Bromwich complaining that Apple was blocking interviews and interfering with his investigation. Apple later requested Bromwich's removal. While the request was not granted, Judge Cote did place boundaries on Bromwich's monitorship.

Article Link: Compliance Monitor Says Relationship With Apple Has 'Significantly Improved'
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 10:06 PM   #2
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Does that mean this whole eBook madness will be over and done with soon?
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 10:50 PM   #3
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Does that mean this whole eBook madness will be over and done with soon?
Nope, just a better beginning. Apple will probably still deal with civil lawsuits anyway.

Hopefully, Apple will loosen up on everything else as well.
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 10:55 PM   #4
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Does that mean this whole eBook madness will be over and done with soon?
I'm looking forward to the appeal. Does anyone have any idea when the appeal starts ?
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 11:51 PM   #5
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The lawsuit is still full of crap, but it's a fair cop!
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 10:36 AM   #6
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I know I am beating a dead horse, but I still do not get why Apple was guilty. If it was okay for music (to sell and simply take 30% of the sales), why would it not be okay for books. Another way of asking this question - if apple loses on the book issue, are they in danger on the music side?
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 01:24 PM   #7
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In other news, Michael Bromwich was recently seen wearing an iWatch and holding what seems to be the very first iPhone 6 off the assembly line....
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 01:30 PM   #8
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Lightbulb Collusion

Hi CM,

The issue is not the profit that Apple would make from the ebook sales. The issue is that Apple is accused of colluding with other ebook providers to keep ebook prices artificially high. This is akin to all your local hamburger restaurants agreeing to sell their burgers for a specific amount. This mitigates competition between the restaurants, is good for the restaurants, but bad for the consumer.

A more detailed explanation can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing

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I know I am beating a dead horse, but I still do not get why Apple was guilty. If it was okay for music (to sell and simply take 30% of the sales), why would it not be okay for books. Another way of asking this question - if apple loses on the book issue, are they in danger on the music side?
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 01:44 PM   #9
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Hi CM,

The issue is not the profit that Apple would make from the ebook sales. The issue is that Apple is accused of colluding with other ebook providers to keep ebook prices artificially high. This is akin to all your local hamburger restaurants agreeing to sell their burgers for a specific amount. This mitigates competition between the restaurants, is good for the restaurants, but bad for the consumer.

A more detailed explanation can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing
That's a very one sided analogy. It's not all the hamburger restaurants. Just 40% of them. And they all sell different products at different prices. But they used to sell them through a take out service that was willing to lose money on all the most popular burgers in order to increase sales and drive the take out business overall. So they decided to drop that take out business in favor of a new one, possibly colluding to do so.

However, the judge decided that the new take out service must have known the restaurants were colluding because...[mumble]. So the new take out service is responsible for the vast majority of the damages caused by the alleged collusion of the 40% of the restaurants. Oh, and the DOJ said it was okay if 30% of the restaurants merge, because that doesn't have the same effect as collusion because...[mumble].

That's still a pretty messed up analogy.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 01:54 PM   #10
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Lightbulb Not one sided at all...

There's nothing one sided about it. It's what they are accused of doing:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...37573054615152

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That's a very one sided analogy. It's not all the hamburger restaurants. Just 40% of them. And they all sell different products at different prices. But they used to sell them through a take out service that was willing to lose money on all the most popular burgers in order to increase sales and drive the take out business overall. So they decided to drop that take out business in favor of a new one, possibly colluding to do so.

However, the judge decided that the new take out service must have known the restaurants were colluding because...[mumble]. So the new take out service is responsible for the vast majority of the damages caused by the alleged collusion of the 40% of the restaurants. Oh, and the DOJ said it was okay if 30% of the restaurants merge, because that doesn't have the same effect as collusion because...[mumble].

That's still a pretty messed up analogy.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 02:01 PM   #11
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There's nothing one sided about it. It's what they are accused of doing:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...37573054615152
They were certainly accused of price fixing. However, nothing about your hamburger analogy was analogous to the case against Apple. As I pointed out, it wasn't all, or even a majority, of the publishers by market share, and they didn't agree to sell all books at a specific amount. All of the publishers continued to compete with each other on price.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 02:45 PM   #12
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That's a very one sided analogy. It's not all the hamburger restaurants. Just 40% of them. And they all sell different products at different prices. But they used to sell them through a take out service that was willing to lose money on all the most popular burgers in order to increase sales and drive the take out business overall. So they decided to drop that take out business in favor of a new one, possibly colluding to do so.

However, the judge decided that the new take out service must have known the restaurants were colluding because...[mumble]. So the new take out service is responsible for the vast majority of the damages caused by the alleged collusion of the 40% of the restaurants. Oh, and the DOJ said it was okay if 30% of the restaurants merge, because that doesn't have the same effect as collusion because...[mumble].

That's still a pretty messed up analogy.
If I get all these analogies, isnt the issue that all the hamburger joints use one specific delivery service and now they collectively agreed to use a dfferent delivery service? And the new delivery service simply said, sell your burgers at whatever price you want and we get to keep 30%, plus whatever tip the delivery person gets? If mcdonalds and burger king agree to deliver through grubhub for example, then grubhub is party to colluding or price fixing? Really? Mcdonalds and burger king are agreeing on the price of the burger are they? and grubhub didnt have any input into the pricing of the burger, did they? so where exactly is the price fixing or the colluding?
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 03:02 PM   #13
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If I get all these analogies, isnt the issue that all the hamburger joints use one specific delivery service and now they collectively agreed to use a dfferent delivery service? And the new delivery service simply said, sell your burgers at whatever price you want and we get to keep 30%, plus whatever tip the delivery person gets? If mcdonalds and burger king agree to deliver through grubhub for example, then grubhub is party to colluding or price fixing? Really? Mcdonalds and burger king are agreeing on the price of the burger are they? and grubhub didnt have any input into the pricing of the burger, did they? so where exactly is the price fixing or the colluding?
I'd love for one person that supports the DOJ's case and the judge's decision to list what specific actions Apple took that were illegal. All we seem to get are repeated references to MFNs and agency pricing and simultaneous negotiations. All of which the judge confirmed as legal both on their own and in combination.

To me, the judge's decision was based on what she thinks Apple should have known without providing any way for them to legally enter the market successfully.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 03:07 PM   #14
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Too Bad

The sooner Densie Cote is off the bench, the better for all future citizens.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 03:28 PM   #15
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I'd love for one person that supports the DOJ's case and the judge's decision to list what specific actions Apple took that were illegal. All we seem to get are repeated references to MFNs and agency pricing and simultaneous negotiations. All of which the judge confirmed as legal both on their own and in combination.

To me, the judge's decision was based on what she thinks Apple should have known without providing any way for them to legally enter the market successfully.
That I can agree with you on this point. I am not saying that Apple is perfect and this is not me getting caught in the famous distortion field. If Apple does wrong they should be able to spend millions of dollars on lawyers to pay a small fine and admit nothing, just like all other corporations.

But, so far I just haven't figured out what they did wrong. And then to have this silly compliance monitor, I just dont get it that at all. So getting someone from the crack prosecution team to provide an explination in hamburger language would be a good thing. BTW -- now i'm hungry.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 06:11 PM   #16
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Why do they care about this and not the fact that Apple put freaking DRM (or some other kind of unethical "security") on Lightning? Also, not touching the iBook store until they use PDFs like normal people.
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Old Apr 16, 2014, 12:48 PM   #17
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All of the publishers continued to compete with each other on price.
Publishers do not and never have competed "with each other on price." Unless by "price" you mean the advance they offer highly sought offers.
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Old Apr 16, 2014, 01:48 PM   #18
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Publishers do not and never have competed "with each other on price." Unless by "price" you mean the advance they offer highly sought offers.
Of course they have. By price, I mean the price at which they sell their books, either wholesale or retail.
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 01:18 PM   #19
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Well, yet another thread filled with people that don't know what an analogy is.
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 01:24 PM   #20
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Well, yet another thread filled with people that don't know what an analogy is.
Care to enlighten us ignorant masses? I don't see the word used incorrectly. I do see some bad analogies.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 08:10 AM   #21
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Care to enlighten us ignorant masses? I don't see the word used incorrectly. I do see some bad analogies.
Most people here try to force analogies into something that is EXACTLY THE SAME. That is not what they are.

Also, the intent of them is to better inform a person that doesn't understand your point. Virtually every point here is understood, the issue is disagreement. Analogies are pointless for disagreement.
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