Apple's New Product Rumor Distraction from Lawsuit?
There seems to be a fuzzy fine line between business-savvy measures and illegal business-savvy measures. It's a line the U.S. Justice Department is saying that Apple Inc. crossed, alleging that the technology giant colluded with five other publishers to fix the prices of electronic books and prevent competition from Amazon.
The U.S. Justice Department filed the antitrust lawsuit on Wednesday against Apple Inc, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon Schuster, Macmillan and Pearson, and PLC’s Penguin Group (USA). The crux of the suit involves the publishers’ shift from a traditional wholesale pricing model which allowed retailers to set the price of electronic and physical books to an agency model under which publishers set the price and retailers only receive a commission of that price.
“As a result of this alleged conspiracy, we believe that consumers paid millions of dollars more for some of the most popular titles,” said Attorney General Eric Holder at a Washington news conference.
While Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon Schuster have settled with the Department of Justice, other publishers such as Macmillan have protested the antitrust lawsuit, saying that the agency model wasn’t wrong and was motivated by fear of Amazon’s dominance over the e-book market.
The settlement that the publishers have agreed to allows Amazon and other retailers to set the consumer price of e-books and a separate settlement with states could lead to tens of millions of dollars in restitution to consumers who bought e-books.
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr denied the charges in an email to Reuters, stating that the charges were ‘simply not true’ —a statement that we found less than news-worthy since major businesses like Apple hardly ever cave in to charges of business misconduct, especially not after the major supply chain embarrassment of Foxconn.
"The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told the Wall Street Journal.
Blocking competition to prevent a monopoly somehow doesn’t make sense; doesn't blocking competition to prevent a monopoly create another monopoly?
Read related stories on the Business Review USA website!
Meanwhile, French designer Philippe Starck has popped out of the woodwork to hint at a mysterious ‘revolutionary’ new product that he is working on with Apple, according to PC Magazine and AppleInsider. Starck let the cat out of the bag during a radio interview Thursday with France Info but did not release any further details. The full translation of the interview can be found here.
"Indeed, there is a big project together which will be out in eight months," Starck said.
This report has fueled rumors of a new Apple television or a new Apple iPhone, setting Apple lovers aflame with tech-lust---“Must have new Apple thing NOW!”
We question whether Starck’s announcement was fueled by his own desire to set the Apple world alight with product desire. Or was it a diversionary tactic by Apple to turn the public’s fickle and short attention span to a shiny new product rather than a messy antitrust lawsuit? Of course this lawsuit is merely a small flea on a big dog, but probably any good publicity is helpful for Apple right now.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”