Paul Thurrott pens a post this morning titled: “Finally, An Apple Antitrust Probe”. Always the source of fair and balanced reporting Thurrott takes this post one step further by not providing any links to back up his citations — except of course to other stories he has penned.
Thurrott starts by stating:
Before Apple’s entry, publishers set the wholesale price of books, but retailers could determine the final selling price. But Apple changed that, allowing publishers for the first time to determine the final price at which eBooks were sold to consumers. As a result, the average selling price of new eBooks jumped from $9.99 to $14.99.
Those bastards at Apple didn’t want to set the prices themselves! How dare they!
In the very next sentence he states:
The EC will try to determine if the firms colluded to fix prices and restrict competition. Both charges should be easily proven.
Oh now Thurrott is a European legal expert and knows all of the facts of the case. It’s a crying shame he writes a Windows site and not an Apple site — imagine all the insider knowledge he must possess to make such a claim. Further didn’t he just say it was the publishers that set the prices because Apple decided they didn’t want to?
Next Thurrott talks about how Amazon gave in to the publishers wanting to raise prices to match Apple — funny thing is he never says it was Apple that colluded with Amazon to raise the prices. Nope, just the publisher wanting higher pricing.
He cites further evidence from a class action suit filing in the U.S., quick note to my readers: unlike Thurrott you should be aware that filing a suit against someone in the U.S. does not — in fact — mean you are right by default.
And now, finally, a major regulatory body is investigating this issue.
Finally. Hasn’t iBooks been out for like almost 1.5 years now, absurd!
Don’t take this as me saying that Apple is in the clear here. But what sounds more like Apple: what Thurrott is claiming and what he quotes EC spokesperson Amelia Torres as saying “had the objective or effect of restricting competition and fixing the price of e-books at a high level in Europe”; or does it make more sense that, perhaps, Apple just agreed to let the publishers set the price of their own goods in the store (as Thurrott claimed in his own post).
There is likely to be somethings that went wrong here, but I think it is idiotic of Thurrott to make the blanket claim that this will be “easily proven”.