Oyster Books, a subscription based ebook service dubbed the Netflix of eBooks that opened its virtual doors over a year ago, is expanding into the retail market and offering its customers the chance to purchase books alongside its rental facilities.
Its faces an uphill battle to fight the behemoth that is Amazon and its Kindle operations. Amazon sells more digital books than it does physical books, and Kindle sales at one point last year topped over one million per week.
Oyster does however boast that it offers over one million books, including a wide array of bestsellers and award winning novels for just $9.95 a month, including this years hottest selling digital book The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and last years biggest selling book on the Amazon digital marketplace The Fault in our Stars by John Green.
Oyster Books offer a wide range of great books for a relatively small price, especially if you are anything like me and read a dozen books a month. $10 is a great price for an amazing service with apps available on all the major digital reading devices, iPhones, Androids, Nooks, and even on the Kindle Fire.
Finally some good news for e-book consumers, a judge handed down an order to Apple to modify its current contracts with its publishers in a move to prevent price-fixing of e-book and all electronic materials. The judge has appointed an external monitor to review all of Apple’s anti-trust internal policy’s and training.
Apple spokesperson maintained that Apple never conspired to fix the prices of e-book. The company spokesperson was quoted as saying “The iBookstore gave customers more choice and injected much needed innovation and competition into the market. Apple will pursue an appeal of the injunction.”
The judge had sat on two previous hearings on the matter and has repeatedly expressed to her dismay with the technology giants conduct. US district Judge Denise Cote said that she thought that the company was actively colluding with publishers to raise book prices and keep them at an artificially high price. She told the lawyers that she found that Apple had “demonstrated a blatant and aggressive disregard”for the law, and that she hoped that her findings would help Apple to show remorse at the very least in the face of future litigation.
Apple maintained that its entrance into the digital book market could only increase the potential customer base for digital and e-book’s, and that it was in fact doing consumers favour by removing Amazons complete and utter dominance and monopoly of the market.
Even in the face of Apple’s complete and utter reluctance to admit any wrongdoing on their part the judge demanded that rules be set to prevent the existing cooperation between the book publishers and Apple that mate hurt future marketplace rivals and competitors in the future. Apple is now no longer allowed to enter any agreements with the publishers that it has colluded with that may restrict Apple’s ability to lower the retail price will discounts on the books.
An independent auditor has been appointed to monitor apples anti-trust policies and procedures for a period of two years.
One can only hope that Apple learns from this case and actively tries to better its harmful consumer policies, rather than try to find more legal loopholes which seem to be the company’s bread-and-butter.