Tags e-books

Supreme Court won’t hear appeal on Apple’s $450 million e-book price-fixing case

Apple will be on the hook for $450 million after losing its appeal in the e-book price-fixing case, Bloomberg reports. The United States Supreme Court released the decision after Apple appealed the prior ruling. The high-profile case dates back to a 2012 lawsuit from the United States, which Apple appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, but the justices declined to hear the case which leaves the prior ruling intact.

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Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, e-books, ebooks trial, IBooks

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Zac Hall

March 7th

Apple

Mac

EU court says ebooks aren’t books, must be subject to higher tax rates

ebooks

Europe’s top court has declared that ebooks are ‘services’ rather than books, and that European countries are not allowed to give them the same favorable tax treatment as paper books. The reasoning, such as it is, is that ebooks cannot be used without a physical device, and ebooks are a service provided to those devices.

Both France and Luxembourg have applied to ebooks the same reduced rate of VAT (sales tax) enjoyed by books made from crushed trees. The WSJ reports that the EU has ruled that this is illegal.

Since 2012, France has applied a 5.5% VAT rate and Luxembourg a 3% VAT rate on e-books, the same rate as for paper books. The European Court of Justice said both countries must apply their normal VAT rate, which for France is 20% and for Luxembourg is 17%.

Europe already closed one ebook-related tax loophole: Amazon used to use its Luxembourg base as a reason to charge just 3% on ebook sales throughout Europe, but a change in the law forced it to apply the VAT rate applicable to the customer’s own country.

There is some small hope that sanity may prevail in future. The European Commission has said that there may be legal mechanisms through which countries can in future define their own policies, with an “extensive overhaul” of VAT rules to be completed next year. However, don’t be surprised if ‘harmonization’ of tax rates for paper and digital books results in higher taxes on the former to pay for lower taxes on the latter …

Apple of course had its own legal troubles around ebooks, with its pricing model found to amount to anti-competitive practices.

Via Engadget


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: books, e-books, ebooks, Europe, European Commission, European Court of Justice, European Union, IBooks, iTunes

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Ben Lovejoy

March 5th

Apple

Mac

Apple’s ebook settlement may not be quite so settled as judge expresses concern

ibooks-textbooks

Just as we thought Apple’s long-running ebooks suit might finally be settled, the out-of-court agreement has been thrown into doubt. The judge required to approve the settlement terms has expressed concern that they may be unfair to consumers, reports Business Insider.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said she found “most troubling” a clause requiring Apple to pay only $70 million if an appeals court reversed her finding that the company is liable for antitrust violations and sent it back to her for further proceedings.

Apple was found guilty of price-fixing, an allegation it always denied and is currently appealing. To speed things up, lawyers on both sides agreed what would happen for each of the three possible outcomes of the appeal.

If Apple wins the appeal, it will pay nothing. If it loses the appeal, it will pay $50M in legal costs and $400M to a compensation fund for consumers. The contentious part is what happens if the appeals court overturns the original verdict but sends the case back for new proceedings. In this event, the proposal is that Apple would pay just $70M, of which the compensation fund would receive $50M.

Cote questioned if that would be fair and what might happen if the appeals court reversed her ruling on a minor issue.

This is not the first example of post-trial arguments, Apple having earlier called for the removal of the court-appointed antitrust monitor, a request rejected by the court.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: appeal, Apple, Denise Cote, e-books, ebooks, ebooks trial, Manhattan, price-fixing, United States Department of Justice, United States federal judge, US District Judge Denise Cote

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Ben Lovejoy

July 25th

Apple

Mac

Sony Leaving The E-Book Business Behind, Will Transition Accounts And Purchases To Kobo

Image (1) sony_reader-620x465.jpg for post 187857

Sony is calling it quits in the e-book platform market, the company announced today (via Engadget). The move isn’t entirely unexpected: Sony has always occupied a relatively small portion of the market compared to the big kid on the block Amazon. And in light of recent revenue figures, and the decision to cut the much more recognizable VAIO brand, absolutely no one should be shocked by this decision.

The Reader digital storefront for purchasing e-book titles will be shut down as of next month. Owners of Sony Readers (I’m looking at you, dad) shouldn’t be worried about what happens to all their purchases, since Sony is generously migrating accounts and existing libraries intact to Kobo, which works on iOS and Android devices as well as Android hardware. The Kobo Android now will also ship pre-installed on Xperia devices as part of the arrangement.

Sony has yet to reveal exactly how users can switch their content over, but they’ll be sending an email to Reader account holders to detail the process ahead of the projected end of March dead date for the Reader store.

As for Reader hardware, it appears to have been doomed as far back as October last year, at least for the U.S. market, when the company removed the Reader section from its website entirely and listed existing models as discontinued. Moving e-book sales to a partner is probably a smart move, given its existing decision to pull away from that category of devices.

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Darrell Etherington

February 6th

Gadgets

Mobile

Amazon’s new Kindle First lets Kindle device or app users buy one of four “Editors’ Pick” e-books a

Amazon's new Kindle First lets Kindle device or app users buy one of four "Editors' Pick" e-books a month ahead of official release for $2 — or free, for Prime member. [Amazon Business Wire via The Verge]

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Robert Sorokanich

November 1st

Mobile

You Could Get $3 Back For Each Price-Fixed E-Book You Bought

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Jamie Condliffe

September 2nd

Apple

No End To Nook’s Bad News As Revenues Take A 20% Dive For Q1 2014, But New Hardware On The Way

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Darrell Etherington

August 20th

Gadgets

No End To Nook’s Bad News As Revenues Take A 20% Dive For Q1 2014, But New Hardware On The Way

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Darrell Etherington

August 20th

Gadgets

Apple Fires Back at DOJ with New Terms for E-Book Sales

Apple Fires Back at DOJ with New Terms for E-Book Sales

Apple is not happy with the Department of Justice and friends. On Friday afternoon, just a few hours after the DOJ and 33 state attorneys general proposed a series of remedies for Apple's anticompetitive behavior over e-book pricing, the company struck back with some proposals of its own.

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Adam Clark Estes

August 2nd

Apple

DOJ Wants to Force Apple to Let You Buy E-Books Directly from Amazon

DOJ Wants to Force Apple to Let You Buy E-Books Directly from Amazon

After a U.S. District Court judged found Apple guilty of colluding with book publishers to fix the prices of e-books last month, it was unclear what the actual consequences would be for the iPad-maker. Well with little pomp or circumstance, the Department of Justice has just cleared that up, and it's not good for Apple.

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Adam Clark Estes

August 2nd

Apple
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