Apple Ebooks Antitrust Monitor’s Term to End

Apple Ebooks Antitrust Monitor’s Term to EndA U.S. judge on Tuesday agreed to not extend the term of a court-appointed monitor assigned to review Apple Inc’s antitrust compliance program despite the difficult environment the monitor faced in dealing with the iPad maker.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan came a day after the U.S. Justice Department recommended not extending the appointment of Michael Bromwich, who was named monitor after Apple was found liable for conspiring to raise ebook prices.

Cote noted that Bromwich had faced a “challenging relationship” with Apple, which fought unsuccessfully to disqualify him as monitor. The Justice Department said its recommendation was “not an easy one” given that relationship.

Much more.

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SpotlightThe Frankfurt Book Fair Opens (Pub Lunch)
Michael Cader at Publisher’s Lunch provides an opening day summary of the Frankfurt Book Fair: “One thing that didn’t change is Frankfurt’s commitment to freedom of expression. [Fair Director Juergen] Boos remarked that, ‘Freedom of speech is currently in a very fragile state. It is under fire, in the truest sense of the words.’ So, ‘What can we do, here, as an industry?’”

SpotlightSalmon Rushdie Defends Free Speech (PW)
Amid tight security (and a last-minute politically-charged boycott of the fair by the Iranian Ministry of Culture), author Salman Rushdie spoke at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair opening press conference, telling reporters that the publishing world must continue to stand up for free speech. “I’ve always thought in a way that we should not need to discuss freedom of speech in the West, that it should be like the air we breathe,” Rushdie said. But violence and the ongoing threats of violence, he acknowledged, requires publishers to fight on.

Amazon Crossing to Spend $10 Million on Translations (Pub Lunch)
After five years of their ambitious initiative to publish literature in translation, Amazon Publishing’s Amazon Crossing announced a “$10 million commitment over the next five years to increase the number and diversity of its books in translation.” That money “will go toward fees paid to translators,” the company said, “and increasing the countries and languages represented on the Amazon Crossing list.”

Digital Census Shows Audio Charge (Bookseller)
Audio has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the digital book market, findings from The Bookseller’s Digital Census show. The survey also found that while many respondents acknowledged the current slowdown in ebook sales growth, the majority thought sales would soon “start to grow quickly again.”

$50 Amazon Fire Tablet Performs Poorly (Forbes)
A Forbes contributor reviews one of Amazons newest Fire tablets: “I wasn’t planning on benchmarking the Fire tablet as I am an industry analyst and not an official benchmarker, and I would have expected others to test it. When I asked benchmarkers why they didn’t test it, they answered that they already knew it would perform poorly. I really wanted to see how it did as I have a pretty extensive device and SoC research practice, so I went ahead and spent my Sunday benchmarking the unit while I watched football.”

NetGalley and Vorablesen Partner in German Book Market (DBW)
NetGalley is partnering with reader platform Vorablesen, an independent initiative launched by Ullstein Publishers, to launch NetGalley in the German book community. NetGalley provides secure, digital review copies to more than 270,000 reviewers, media, librarians, booksellers, educators and other professional readers. The NetGalley service is already available to publishers in North America, the UK, Australia and France, with a planned launch of the German site in spring 2016.

Overdrive Adds More Than 300,000 Titles (DBW)
To meet increasing global demand in libraries and schools, ebook supplier OverDrive announced that it has added 300,000 digital titles from more than 100 publishers, such as Faber & Faber, Simon & Schuster UK, Penguin Random House Spain, Planeta, Random House Germany, China International Book Trading Corporation, Bookwire, Litres Global Russia and W.W. Norton.


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