New deal with HarperCollins may signal new tactics
Apple, still facing scrutiny from the US Department of Justice and having recently moved to settle with the European Commission over allegations of conspiring with publishers to price e-books higher than the predatory pricing of Amazon, may have opted to change strategy. Having maintained that its "agency" model pricing was required to allow itself (and other companies) to enter the market and break the monopoly abuse it claims Amazon was engaging in, Apple appears now to be fighting with fire: lowering prices on e-books.
Allows Amazon to discount e-books for two years
Apple and four of the five major publishing companies have offered to allow retailers such as Amazon to discount e-books for up to two years, part of a deal that could end an EU antitrust investigation that mirrors the case being brought against Apple and two publishing houses in the US. Only one publisher, Pearson's Penguin group, was not part of the sweeping EU arrangement, which could see Amazon regaining its monopoly position in the e-book market.
Plaintiffs focus on exclusivity agreement
A lawsuit targeting AT&T and Apple over the iPhone exclusivity agreement has been granted class-action status by Judge James Ware of the US District Court in the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs now represent all individuals who have purchased an iPhone tied to an AT&T contract in the US.
Apple is a Mac monopoly
In the ongoing Psystar-Apple legal drama, the clone manufacturer alleges that Apple holds a monopoly over the Mac OS hardware/software platform that artificially inflates the price of its equipment. ComputerWorld reports that Psystar is upset about kernel panics that Apple has purposefully strewn about the Mac OS to prevent it from being used on non-Apple hardware. These errors are usually reserved for when OS X experiences a fatal error.
China probes Microsoft
China's Intellectual Property Office is investigating Microsoft after years of the software giant abusing its dominance of the software market, allegedly without its own knowledge. AFP writes that the Windows developer, among several other firms, is being targeted, due to its monopolistic behaviour; Microsoft Office, for example, sells for up to 7000 yuan (over $1000 US), more expensive than a PC. The Chinese authority is currently investigating the matter.