As you know, publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster all settled with the US Justice Department (DoJ) in an antitrust lawsuit the government filed against them and Apple in April 2012. In turn, DoJ is focusing on Apple now and, according to a new report, is calling Apple out for being a facilitator of an alleged price fixing related to electronic books sold on its iBookstore.
Furthermore, DoJ claimed it collected evidence that proves Apple was the “ringmaster” in the price fixing conspiracy… Read More
Online retailer Amazon in an interesting personal assistant move has reportedly acquired Evi (pronounced ee-vee), a Cambridge, England headquartered startup that specialises in knowledge base and semantic search engine software. The company makes an iOS and Android app which uses the True Knowledge Answer engine and Nuance speech recognition platform to deliver answers to complex queries using natural language processing.
Apple’s Siri also uses Nuance for voice recognition and the iPhone maker even threatened to kick Evi out of the App Store for being too similar to Siri, but later changed its mind. Amazon previously in January 2013 bought Ivona Software, a Polish-based specialist in voice technologies that competes with Nuance.
Apple has again moved to prevent anger from China. The Cupertino firm has pulled one bookstore app from the China iTunes store which hosted several titles by authors critical of the government.
Among the ten titles affected by the bookstore app’s removal were three by a banned Chinese author and political activist. The books focus on the long-running dispute over China’s occupation of Tibet, as well as the author’s detention by the country’s state security.
The action follows an apology by Apple CEO Tim Cook, after criticism over the iPhone maker’s warranty policy for smartphones sold in the country… Read More
This past Sunday, Bloomberg reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook may be required to testify in an antitrust lawsuit the United States Department of Justice filed against it and major e-book publishers over an alleged price fixing of e-books. Reuters confirms today that U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan granted the Justice Department’s request to compel Cook to sit for a deposition.
The Judge said the death of Jobs was a key reason in ordering the deposition. Cook will be testifying for four hours in the lawsuit, a risky move for the CEO and potentially damaging to Apple. The Cupertino company is now the main target of the suit after all named publishers had settled with regulators… Read More
Apple CEO Tim Cook may be required to testify in an antitrust lawsuit the United States Department of Justice filed against it and major e-book publishers over an alleged price fixing of e-books. Cook’s eventual testimony might be risky and could be potentially damaging to his company, now the main target of the suit after all named publishers had settled with regulators.
On the other hand, the CEO could take the opportunity to make a public case for a so-called agency model that the government claims has had anti-competitive impact. The agency model regulates the relationship between Apple and digital content owners who get to pick their iBook prices freely as long as they agree not to offer lower pricing to competitors than they do to Apple.
Business-wise, publishers prefer Apple’s policy over Amazon’s wholesale model where the online retailer sets prices as it sees fit, often hurting publishers’ bottom line by engaging in selling books at a loss just to draw shoppers to its online store… Read More
Apple this morning released iBooks 3.1, a minor update containing improvements for reading Asian language books and supporting paid books from the Japanese iBookstore representing many of the large publishers in the country, with content such as fiction, manga, light novels and more.
Previously, the Japan iBookstore only offered public domain content so it couldn’t compete with local content stores from the likes of Kobo, Amazon and Sony.
Bloggers report iBooks 3.1 renders paid Japanese e-books nicely, along with the full character set and iOS Dictionary support, allowing users to highlight a word and pull its definition. Additionally, the books open right-to-left as they should so you can swipe right to advance through the pages.
Apple says the iBookstore in Japan now has “hundreds of thousands of books” available for purchase. This bodes well for Apple as to date, much of the e-book market in Japan has centered on graphical novels, such as manga… Read More
Last September, three of the nation’s top five book publishers settled with The United States Justice Department (DOJ) over alleged collusion in the pricing of e-books, despite Apple crying foul and accusing Amazon of assisting the government’s agenda. Following DOJ’s deal with HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Hachette, Penguin followed suite in December 2012 and today DOJ announced that Macmillan has stricken a similar settlement with Uncle Sam, leaving Apple as a lone holdout in the suit… Read More
Apple has launched a new U.S. iTunes Store section dedicated to highlighting exclusive, self-published works from emerging talents. Sometimes, one has to expose oneself to books that cannot be found on The New York Times bestseller list. This section is aimed at surfacing cherry-picked content you’d otherwise have a hard time discovering. The move mirrors Amazon’s self-published Kindle books and Apple says new titles will be added “as they begin taking off”… Read More
Apple will open an iBookstore in Japan during 2013 with a handful of local publishers supplying their electronic books. Unlike Apple, rival tech giants began selling e-books in the Asian nation last year. However, multiple reports disagree on the timing. One local report suggests as early as January, while another tech news site calls that “far too optimistic”. Although the iBookstore has been in Japan since 2010, it has offered only public-domain titles due to reluctance by Japanese publishers, who feared e-books would cut into sales of traditionally printed books… Read More
Flipboard, the popular social news reader platform, has partnered with Apple to launch a new section in iOS apps called Books which, surprisingly, highlights select books the iPhone maker sells on its own iBookstore. The new Books section is now live in Flipboard iOS apps in ten countries. It’s customized with 25 new sections containing the most popular books from Apple’s iBookstore. “It’s like browsing in a bookstore, right from your Flipboard”, the company says. The new section is localized for the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and Spain… Read More
Apple Sunday afternoon posted a pair of television commercials for the iPad mini. Unlike the inaugural ad which focuses on the GarageBand app, these new clips highlight Apple’s own iPhoto and iBooks apps for the tablet, the former provided as a $5 download. Using the effective side-by-side format, the first commercial, named Photos and see above, takes us through the various photo management and editing capabilities of the iPhoto app.
The other is called Books and shows off various iBooks. As you’d expect, both apps behave exactly like on full-sized iPads. The ads are available as QuickTime streams from Apple’s home page and via Apple’s YouTube channel. I’ve included the Books commercial right after the break… Read More
DC Entertainment, one of the top comic book publishers in the world, announced yesterday that its entire line of DC comics are now available in digital e-book format. Fans of the comics will be able to find them in Amazon’s Kindle Store, the Barnes and Noble Nook Store, and of course the iBookstore… Read More
In an exclusive report out this morning, Reuters reports that EU regulators are going to accept an offer proposed by Apple and four e-book publishers that will allow retailers like Amazon to sell digital books at lower prices compared to iBookstore. Publishers Simon & Schuster, News Corp unit HarperCollins, Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Livre, and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, the owner of German company Macmillan, all offered concessions back in August and Apple in September abandoned its e-book agency model in EU in order to avoid a potentially harming anti-trust investigation… Read More
With less than 24 hours away until Apple’s media event that will serve as a launchpad for the mini iPad and rumored new educational initiatives, Apple has rolled out paid iBookstore content in a slew of new countries. Paid electronic books first surfaced this morning over in the New Zealand iBookstore, but subsequent reports confirmed that paid content is now live – or in the process of going live – in as much as seventeen Latin American markets… Read More
Apple’s user manual entitled The iPhone User Guide for iOS 6 was released as a downloadable PDF document four days ago, but it wasn’t immediately available via the iBookstore. The 155-page document is meant to help new users get acquainted with the iPhone 5 and iOS 6. And now, it is available as a free e-book on the iBookstore so those that prefer electronic books optimized for iOS devices – as opposed to importing and reading PDFs in the iBooks app – are advised to download this handy guide… Read More
As the European Union (EU) last December started looking into claims that Apple was conspiring with publishers to raise e-book prices, Apple and several major publishers agreed last month to offer pricing concessions in an effort to end an EU antitrust investigation. Back in the U.S., a federal judge approved settlements with three publishers and the Federal Communications Commission.
Following that decision, EU officials are willing to market test commitments proposed by Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Hachette, Holtzbrinck and Apple for the sale of e-books that would give retailers the freedom to set prices freely for the next two years… Read More
As you know, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) in April filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five publishers for alleged price fixing related to digital books. Though the Government proposed a settlement with Hachette SA, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, Apple is now calling that deal “fundamentally unfair, unlawful, and unprecedented”, arguing that litigation is needed.
Claiming the Government has “unwittingly placed a thumb on the scales in favor of Amazon”, Apple says that the proposed settlement would “terminate and rewrite Apple’s bargained-for contracts” before the company has a chance to defend itself… Read More
The US Department of Justice says it has received nearly 1000 public comments since it lodged its lawsuit against Apple and a number of major book publishers earlier this year. The suit claims that Apple worked in concert with the publishers in an effort to raise e-book prices.
The DoJ has responded to the comments today, and has strong words for both Apple and the accused publishers. Despite the pushback, the Department says that it has every intention to move forward with its e-book lawsuits and settlement talks as planned… Read More