viii, 325 pages ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Introduction: A case bigger than it seemed -- Part I. Policy as prologue: The great generalization -- In the first ships: competition as a concept and its special role in American history -- And yet, uncertainty: the long shadows of the American methodenstreit -- Uncertainty of another kind: coping with capitalism through association and self-help -- Tensions of the latter day and some unexpected skepticism -- Competition as a living policy, circa 2019 -- Part II. The ebooks case: The old business of books -- Bookselling and the birth of Amazon -- Publishers, booksellers, and the oldest problem in the world -- Price fixing in books -- Content and the digital transition in historical context -- The promise and threat of electronic books -- How electronic books came to be, and what it would mean for the Apple case -- Google Books -- The Kindle -- The ebooks conspiracy -- Part III. Competition and its many regrets: The long agony of antitrust -- So are books, after all, special? Is anything? -- The virtues of vertical and entry for its own sake -- Amazon -- The threat to writers and the threat to cultural values -- The creeping profusion of externalities -- Conclusion: Real ironies.
"One of the most followed antitrust cases of recent times--United States v. Apple--reveals a missed truth: what Americans most fear is competition itself. In 2012 the Department of Justice accused Apple and five book publishers of conspiring to fix e-book prices. The evidence overwhelmingly showed an unadorned price-fixing conspiracy that cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet before, during, and after the trial millions of Americans sided with the defendants. Pundits on the left and right condemned the government for its decision to sue, decrying Amazon's market share, railing against a new high-tech economy, and rallying to defend beloved authors and publishers. For many, Amazon was the one that should have been put on trial. But why? One fact went unrecognized and unreckoned with: in practice, Americans have long been ambivalent about competition. Chris Sagers, a renowned antitrust expert, meticulously pulls apart the misunderstandings and exaggerations that industries as diverse as mom-and-pop grocers and producers of cast-iron sewer pipes have cited to justify colluding to forestall competition. In each of these cases, antitrust law, a time-honored vehicle to promote competition, is put on the defensive. Herein lies the real insight of United States v. Apple. If we desire competition as a policy, we must make peace with its sometimes rough consequences. As bruising as markets in their ordinary operation often seem, letting market forces play out has almost always benefited the consumer. United States v. Apple shows why supporting cases that protect price competition, even when doing so hurts some of us, is crucial if antitrust law is to protect and maintain markets"--Provided by the publisher.
United States versus Apple
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067497221X (hardcover alkaline paper)
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