• <center><b>Christie’s<br>Charlie Watts: Literature and Jazz<br>London and online auction<br>15–29 September</b>
    <b>Christie’s, Explore now:</b><br>F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940). <i>The Great Gatsby.</i> New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925. £100,000–150,000
    <b>Christie’s, Explore now:</b><br>Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930). </i>The Hound of the Baskervilles: Another Adventure of Sherlock Holmes.</b> London: George Newnes, 1902. £70,000–100,000
    <b>Christie’s, Explore now:</b><br>Agatha Christie (1890–1976). <i>The Thirteen Problems.</i> London: for the Crime Club Ltd. by W. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., 1932. £40,000–60,000
    <b>Christie’s, Explore now:</b><br>Dashiell Hammett (1894–1961). <i>The Maltese Falcon.</i> New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1930. £30,000–50,000
  • <b><center>CONSIGN NOW</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Preview:</b></br> H. Scherer, <i>Atlas novus exhibens orbem terraqueum,</i> 1702-10.<br>Est: € 15,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Preview:</b></br> L. de Varthema, <i>Die Ritterlich und lobwirdig rayß,</i> 1515.<br>Est: € 60,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Preview:</b></br> G. Heym, <i>Umbra vitae,</i> 1924.<br>Est: € 8,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Preview:</b></br>F. de Wit, <i>Orbis maritimus ofte Zee Atlas,</i> around 1680.<br>Est: € 15,000
  • <center><b>Gonnelli: Auction 46 Books<br>Autographs & Manuscripts<br>Oct 3rd-5th 2023</b>
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Tilson - Zanotto, Il vero tema. 2011. Starting price 150 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Munari, Storia di un filo. Starting price 400 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Debord, Contre le cinéma. 1964. Starting price 150 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Futurism books and ephemera
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Travel books
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Medicine books
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Levaillant, Histoire naturelle des perroquets. 1801-1805. Starting price 52.000 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Carrera, Il gioco de gli scacchi. 1617. Starting price 3200 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Vergilius, Opera. 1515. Starting price 800 €
  • <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Colour Plate Books from the Library of Norman Bobins<br>26th September 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Sep. 26:</b> Alken (Henry), Thomas Egerton et al. <i>The Melange of Humour,</i> first collected edition, Printed by W. Lewis, [c.1835]. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Forum, Sep. 26:</b> [Cheny (John) and Thomas Butler, publishers]. <i>[Horses & Their Pedigrees],</i> Cheny & Butler, 1740-1746 or 1751-1753. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum, Sep. 26:</b> Dikenman (R.) Voyage en Suisse, Zurich, [c.1830]. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Colour Plate Books from the Library of Norman Bobins<br>26th September 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Sep. 26:</b> Eckert (H.A.) Monten (Dietrich) and F. Schlever. <i>Das K.K. Russische Militair aus dem grossen Werke Saemmtliche Truppen von Europa,</i> first edition, Wuerzburg, 1840 [but c.1842]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum, Sep. 26:</b> Havell, Junior (Robert). <I>Costa Scena, or a Cruise along the Southern Coast of Kent,</I> hand-coloured aquatint panorama with original boxwood drum, 1823. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, Sep. 26:</b> Heideloff (Victor). <i>Ansichten des Herzoglich Württembergischen Landsitzes Hohenheim,</i> first edition in original 6 parts, Nuremberg, 1795-1800. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Colour Plate Books from the Library of Norman Bobins<br>26th September 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Sep. 26:</b> Jones (Owen) and Jules Goury. <i>Views on the Nile: from Cairo to the Second Cataract,</i> first edition, Graves and Warmsley, 1843. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, Sep. 26:</b> Meyer (Johann Heinrich). <i>Der Rigiberg in Zeichnungen nach der Natur,</i> Zurich, Fuessli, 1807. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, Sep. 26:</b> Nichol (Andrew). <i>Five Views of the Dublin and Kingstown Railway,</i> first edition, Dublin, William Frederick Wakeman, 1834. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Colour Plate Books from the Library of Norman Bobins<br>26th September 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Sep. 26:</b> Schetky (J. C.) A series of four sketches, illustrative of various situations of His Majesty's Ship Pique, Portsea, Trives & Maynard, 1835. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum, Sep. 26:</b> Stackelberg (Otto Magnus von). <i>Costumes et Usages des Peuples de la Grece Moderne,</i> first edition, Rome, 1825. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Forum, Sep. 26:</b> Stucchi (Stanislao). <i>Raccolta di Scene Teatrali eseguite o disegnate dai più celebri Pittori Scenici in Milano,</i> 3 vol., Milan, 1817. £6,000 to £8,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2012 Issue

Department of Justice May Initiate Action for E-Book Price Fixing

Ibookstore

Apple's iBookstore.

Reports have come out that the U.S. Department of Justice is planning to sue five book publishers and Apple Computer for price-fixing of electronic books. This legal action by the government would come on top of a class action lawsuit earlier filed on behalf of consumers who allegedly overpaid for their e-books because of price-fixing. Meanwhile, it is also said that some of the publishers are negotiating behind the scenes in an attempt to reach a settlement of the dispute before it breaks into full-scale legal action.

The claim alleges that the publishers conspired with Apple to force up the retail prices of e-books charged by Amazon. Amazon was selling electronic books, most commonly at $9.99, at little or no mark-up, sometimes even at a loss. Amazon was willing to do this for two reasons – one to encourage customers to buy their Kindle brand of electronic readers, and secondly, to encourage people to buy all of their e-books from Amazon (presumably, eventually at a price profitable to Amazon). Amazon really wants people to be drawn into their world where they buy everything they need from Amazon.

The immediate reaction might be, why would the publishers mind Amazon selling their books so cheaply? The publishers weren't giving up their profits, only Amazon was. The more Amazon sells, the more money the publishers make, right? The publishers did not see it this way. They feared once consumers got hooked on low prices, they would never be able to raise them again. They also may have feared that prices too low on e-books would totally decimate their printed book business.

What allegedly happened next is what led to the possibility of legal action by the DOJ. Apple wanted to sell e-books for its iPad tablet computer, which can be used as an electronic book reader. However, Apple didn't care about undercutting the competition to gain market share. Apple figured the superiority of their products was sufficient to give them the largest share of the market. They just didn't want to be undercut by anyone else, Amazon in particular. Since the publishers wanted retail prices to go up anyway, the two sides, allegedly, agreed to a new method of pricing - the “agency model.”

Under the agency model, the publishers, not the retailer, sets the price. The retailer then gets a cut, in this case 30%. All retailers, under this model, charge the same. There is no competition on price. The most notable evidence of this supposed conspiracy came from Walter Isaacson's biography of the late Chairman of Apple, Steve Jobs. According to the biography, Jobs said, “We told the publishers, ‘We’ll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you want anyway… They went to Amazon and said, ‘You’re going to sign an agency contract or we’re not going to give you the books.’”

It is not clear what happened next, but today most books at Amazon are priced at $14.99, not $9.99, and prices from Amazon and Apple are mostly the same.

Apple's defense to the claims may be gleaned from their response to the earlier class action lawsuit. In it, Apple says the complaint mischaracterized Jobs' comments, and “just strings together antitrust buzzwords.” The company innocently maintains that all it wanted to do was sell e-books, and had no incentive to raise prices. The idea that it would illegally attempt to squelch sales of Amazon's Kindle e-reader makes no sense, Apple claims, as they had a perfectly legal way of selling e-books – a multi-purpose electronic device that could do far more than just read electronic books (the iPad). Apple then asks, rhetorically, “Why would Apple conclude that conspiring to force Amazon to no longer lose money on eBooks would cripple Amazon’s competitive fortunes?” That sounds big of Apple, wanting to help Amazon stop losing money on e-book sales, but of course, losing money in the short term was Amazon's precise strategy to gaining a competitive advantage.

One other point Apple noted is particularly ironic. Prior to their entering the market, Apple said that Amazon controlled 90% of the e-book market. Their low, even money-losing pricing was keeping competitors out of the business. Now, Apple and others are able to compete in the e-book market. There is more “competition.” Normally, competition is good for the consumer, bringing prices down. However, in this case, the exact opposite seems to have occurred. Rather than competition bringing prices down, allegedly forced higher prices has increased the number of competitors. However, as consumers are well aware, the one thing these new “competitors” are not competing on is price. That is probably what most consumers want them to compete upon. After all, what difference does it make from whose website you download an electronic book if the prices are all the same?

The European Union is now believed to be examining the alleged price-fixing scheme as well. The five publishers believed to be being investigated are MacMillan, Hachette, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins.


Posted On: 2012-04-01 00:00
User Name: andyboybooks

Great article. As a consumer, I have been confused on what is the reason to purchase an e-book from Amazon, for more money that I can purchase


Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby's<br>English Literature and History<br>Available for Immediate Purchase</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Available Now:</b> William Shakespeare. <i>A Midsummer-Night's Dream,</i> 1908. 7,500 USD
    <b>Sotheby’s, Available Now:</b> Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë. <i>Brontës' Novels,</i> 1922. 2,400 USD
    <b>Sotheby’s, Available Now:</b> Lewis Carroll. <i>Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There,</i> 1872. 25,000 USD
    <b>Sotheby’s, Available Now:</b> Charles Dickens. Collection of Fiction including <i>Oliver Twist</i> and <i>Sketches by Boz,</i> 1838-1865. 6,250 USD
    <b>Sotheby’s, Available Now:</b> Mary Shelley. <i>Frankenstein,</i> 1839. 4,250 USD
    <b>Sotheby’s, Available Now:</b> James Joyce. <i>Ulysses,</i> 1925. 2,500 USD
    <b>Sotheby’s, Available Now:</b> Jane Austen. <i>The Complete Works of Jane Austen,</i> 1901. 5,250 USD
  • <center><b>Jeschke Jadi Auctions Berlin<br>Rare Books, Prints, Historical Photography<br>29 September 2023</b>
    <b>Jeschke Jádi, Sep. 29:</b> Jan Theodor de Bry. <i>Anthologia magna sive Florilegium novum.</i> 1626. 9,000 €
    <b>Jeschke Jádi, Sep. 29:</b> John Locke. <i>Epistola de tolerantia ad Clarissimum Virum T.A.R.P.T.O.L.A.</i> 1689. 9000 €
    <b>Jeschke Jádi, Sep. 29:</b> F. T. Marinetti, Boccioni, Pratella, Carrà, a.o. <i>Collection of 35 Futurist manifestos.</i> 1909-1933. 7000 €
    <b>Jeschke Jádi, Sep. 29:</b> Johann Elert Bode, Rare engraved celestial globe. (1804). 6000 €
    <b>Jeschke Jádi, Sep. 29:</b> Sebastian Brant (ed.). <i>Tertia pars huius operis in se continens glosam ordinariam cum expositione lyre litterali et morali.</i> 1498. 5000 €
  • <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>28th September 2023</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 28:</b> Asia.- Mandeville (Sir John). <i>Tractato bellissimo delle piu maravigliose cose & piu motabile che sitrovino nelle parte delmondo,</i> Florence, [Lorenzo Morgiani], [?1505] or possibly, 1496-99. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 28:</b> Arabic ms.- Ghazaliyaat Kan'at al-Arabi [Divan of Poetry written in Arabic], illuminated manuscript in Arabic, Safavid Persia (probably Isfahan), [second quarter of 16th century]. £12,000 to £16,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 28:</b> Foxe (John). <i>Actes and monuments of these latter and perillous dayes, touching matters of the Church…,</i> first edition, dwellyng ouer Aldersgate, [20th March, 1563]. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>28th September 2023</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 28:</b> Barrie (J.M.) <i>Peter Pan or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up,</i> first play edition, signed presentation inscription from the author "To my dear Jane Pan", 1928. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 28:</b> Gillray (James). John Bull taking a Luncheon: -or- British Cooks, cramming Old Grumble-Gizzard, with Bonne-Chére, etching with hand-colouring, 1798. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 28:</b> Middle East.- Roberts (David). <i>The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia,</i> 6 vol. bound as 4, first edition, 1842-49. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>28th September 2023</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 28:</b> Greenwood (C. & J.) <i>Map of London made from an Actual Survey in the Years 1824, 1825 & 1826...,</i> first edition, engraved map, 1827. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 28:</b> Newton (Sir Isaac). <i>Opticks: or, A Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light…,</i> first edition, 1704. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 28:</b> Smith (Percy John Delf). Collection of 19 original preliminary drawings for "Twelve Drypoints of the War 1914-1918", circa 1914-1918; together with 11 drypoints from "Twelve Drypoints of the War 1914-1918", 1925. £15,000 to
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>28th September 2023</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 28:</b> Guild of Women Binders.- Watts (Alaric A.) <i>Lyrics of the Heart: with other poems</I>, in a stunning richly gilt green crushed morocco by the Guild of Women Binders, Longman, 1851. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 28:</b> Cosway binding.- Dodgson (Charles Lutwidge). "Lewis Carroll". <i>Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,</i> in a Cosway binding with miniatures by Miss C.B. Currie, 1868. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 28:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Casino Royale,</i> first edition, first impression, 1953. £18,000 to £22,000.
  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Charles Monroe Schulz, <i>The Peanuts gang,</i> complete set of 13 drawings, ink, 1971. Sold June 15 — $50,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Family Archive of Photographs & Letters. Sold June 1 — $60,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Victor H. Green, <i>The Negro Motorist Green Book,</i> New York, 1949. Sold March 30 — $50,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>King Lear; Othello;</i> [and] <i>Anthony & Cleopatra;</i> Extracted from the First Folio, London, 1623. Sold May 4— $185,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> William Samuel Schwartz, <i>A Bridge in Baraboo, Wisconsin,</i> oil on canvas, circa 1938. Sold February 16 — $32,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Lena Scott Harris, <i>Group of approximately 65 hand-colored botanical studies, all apparently California native plants,</i> hand-colored silver prints, circa 1930s. Sold February 23 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Suzanne Jackson, <i>Always Something To Look For,</i> acrylic & pencil on linen canvas, circa 1974. Sold April 6 — $87,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk von Gustav Klimt,</i> complete with 50 printed collotype plates, Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold June 15 — $68,750.
  • <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>September 27<br>The Library of the Late Christopher Foyle of Beeleigh Abbey: Part One</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, Sep. 27:</b> Bible, Dominican Use, in Latin. Illuminated manuscript on vellum, [France: probably Paris, c. 1240]. £10,000-15,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, Sep. 27:</b> Book of Hours, <i>in French with Latin cues.</i> Illuminated manuscript on vellum [France, Normandy, early(?) 15th century]. £10,000-15,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Sep. 27:</b> Book of Hours, <i>Use of Rouen, in Latin and French.</i> Illuminated manuscript on vellum, [France: Rouen, c. 1480]. £30,000-40,000
    <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>September 27<br>The Library of the Late Christopher Foyle of Beeleigh Abbey: Part One</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, Sep. 27:</b> Mary I (1516-1558). <i>Queen of England, 1553-1558.</i> Letter signed, ‘Marye the Quene’, Greenwich, 7 January 1558. £15,000-20,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, Sep. 27:</b> Jonson (Ben). Works, 1st collected edition, 3 volumes, 1640. £7,000-10,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, Sep. 27:</b> Essex. A sammelband of 27 English Civil War pamphlets mostly relating to the siege of Colchester, Essex, 1648. £5,000-8,000
    <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>September 27<br>The Library of the Late Christopher Foyle of Beeleigh Abbey: Part One</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, Sep. 27:</b> Latham (Simon). Latham’s Faulconry, or the Faulcons Lure and Cure, 2 parts in one, 1658/. £2,000-3,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, Sep. 27:</b> Exquemelin (Alexandre Olivier). The History of the Bucaniers of America, 2 volumes in 1, 2nd edition, 1695. £1,000-1,500
    <b>Dominic Winter, Sep. 27:</b> Campbell (Patrick). Travels in the interior inhabited parts of North America..., 1st ed., 1793. £5,000-8,000
    <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>September 27<br>The Library of the Late Christopher Foyle of Beeleigh Abbey: Part One</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, Sep. 27:</b> Burton (Richard F.). Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah, 3 volumes, 1st edition, 1855-56. £5,000-8,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, Sep. 27:</b> Cosway-style binding. Napoleon and the Fair Sex, 1894. One of 9 similar lots. £1,000-1,500
    <b>Dominic Winter, Sep. 27:</b> Shepard (Ernest Howard, 1879-1976). Pooh and Piglet, original pen and ink drawing, 1958. £20,000-30,000

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