Round up #98: new statement in Agency Model case, “5 or 6” new “Kindle Fires”

Round up #98: new statement in Agency Model case, “5 or 6” new “Kindle Fires”

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

I may  flesh these out more later today, but there is some breaking news.

Reuters discusses Amazon’s mobile ambitions and SKUs

I heard about this one in a couple of places, including a reader sending it in private e-mail.

I would put this beyond the level of rumor, although there may be some confusion about it, and it’s not confirmed by Amazon.

Demos Parneros of Staples has said that they now have SKUs for multiple new tablets from Amazon.

A SKU is a Stock-Keeping Unit number (we always thought of them as just “StocK Units”).

The confusion here could be because it identifies what a brick-and-mortar store pulls out of the stockroom to replace things on the shelf (and it has other functions).

If an item comes in multiple colors, or memory configurations, or wi-fi versus 3G, they would each have a different SKU (if the customer gets a choice…if they say they want a “blue one”, you don’t want to have to start opening boxes to be able to tell).

Also very interesting (and good detective work) is that the number of people on LinkedIn from Lab126 (Amazon’s research and development lab) has massively increased.

New statement  in Agency Model case

I haven’t had a chance to read the whole statement yet, and this is not the final settlement.

Here’s one statement from it, though:

“The United States received many comments that sought to excuse price fixing asnecessary to end Amazon’s reported ninety percent share of the e-book market, and notedthat Apple’s entry effectuated erosion of Amazon’s share and spurred all sorts of innovations, such as color e-books. But the reality is that, despite its conspiratorial efforts, Apple’s entry into the e-book market was not immediately successful. It was, in fact, Barnes & Noble’s entry—prior to Apple—that took significant share away from Amazon; and many of the touted innovations were in development long before Apple decided to enter the market via conspiracy.”

Correction: I originally reported this as a judge’s statement, because that was what I saw going to the link.  However, it is actually a response of the DoJ (Department of Justice) which is acting as the plaintiff in this case. That explains the strength of the position…you would expect it to be advocatory. My apologies for that inaccuracy. It’s still an interesting document, though. 🙂

Kindle Touch 5.1.2 bug fix available

If you’ve done/gotten the 5.1.0 or 5.1.1 update for the Kindle Touch, they have a bug fix update you should get:

Kindle Touch 5.1.2 bug fix

By “bug fix”, I meant that it doesn’t features, it just fixes a problem. My guess is that this has to do with a font size problem which has been reported.

Penguin takes over Author Solutions

This was sent to me by a reader in a private e-mail.

Penguin is apparently taking over Author Solutions…which makes it a tradpub (traditional publisher) taking over an independent publishing platform…think Random House taking over Smashwords,  just for an analogy.

That’s an interesting development…a tradpub could certainly promote indie books in a different way.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

7 Responses to “Round up #98: new statement in Agency Model case, “5 or 6” new “Kindle Fires””

  1. Tom Semple Says:

    Judge statement: I agree with this. Amazon’s share eroded as other credible competitors entered the market, starting with B&N and then Apple, Google and Kobo. It had little if anything to do with agency pricing, and in any case, market share has nothing to do with the merits of the DOJ suit. Who can really say that Amazon market share has any correlation with the advent of agency pricing? Too many variables, not enough data.

    I believe the update is to fix the browser security hole (that apparently lets you root Kindle Touch by visiting a particular web site designed for this purpose). Amazon announced that a fix was in the works for this. If it fixes any KF8 issues that wil be a bonus. I’ve actually seen 2 issues: default line spacing is greater with KF8 than mobi7 (this does not bother me much), and I’ve seen a couple of books that have tiny font size on KT but not on Fire (this makes the book all but unreadable).

    As for the Penguin acquisition of Author’s Solutions, here is another take:

    • Tom Semple Says:

      I like the first paragraph on p14: “Since the proposed Final Judgment was announced, more companies are investing to
      enter or expand in the market and compete against Amazon, Apple, and other e-book retailers. …”

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      That makes sense…I mentioned that security concern recently.

      I’ll do more reading on the Penguin thing…I appreciate the link.

  2. Janice Chase Says:

    “and many of the touted innovations were in development long before Apple decided to enter the market via conspiracy.” I this last bit is telling as to the judge’s opinion when he uses the word “conspiracy” in his statement.

  3. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I just checked my KT — I have 5.1.0. I have seen the same problem with tiny font sizes that Tom Semple mentioned on a very few indie published titles. The problem does not appear on the KF, or on my KDX. I have taken to reading these titles on my KDX, and have once again been reminded of the benefits of a large screen size and the keyboard. Of course the lack of WiFi is a real drag, and I keep wanting to touch my KDX screen 😀

    If 5.1.2 doesn’t automatically show up in a day or so — I’ll manually install it to see if the font problem truly is resolved.

    Traditional arguments v monopolies in an e-booked world are IMO all wet. Amazon becomes more of a distributor than a retailer, and barriers to entry to the ebook distribution business are extremely low.

    As an economist, I am often reminded that there still is the notion of “natural monopolies” — in which the existence of a monopoly is deemed to be far more beneficial than having multiple competitors (think electric utilities, or the internet). I wonder if an ebook distribution system, or for that matter an ebook public lending library aren’t new examples of natural monopolies?

    Often the anti-monopolist argument is couched in terms of “fairness” to consumers, when in fact the benefit is to the proposed monopolist’s competitors. Often after some judicial “relief” what customers are faced with are in fact higher prices, increased complexity (lots of choices isn’t always a benefit), and inferior technology ecosystems (making lots of little pieces from different providers work reliably and well together is hard — often a single provider is better).

  4. Round up #99: “dumb” EBRs, 50MB limit on 3G browsing? « I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] have had time now to read the Department of Justice response to the public comments on the Agency Model […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: