Walmart horns in on the $1.1 billion e-book market

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A Walmart eBooks iOS app just launched, hoping to take on the established leaders in the market.
A Walmart eBooks iOS app just launched, hoping to take on the established leaders in the market, Amazon and Apple Books.
Photo: Walmart

While brick-and-mortar bookstores have almost disappeared, the number of e-book stores grew today with Walmart throwing its hat into the ring.

This is clearly an attempt to take on arch-rival Amazon in yet another market, but Apple Books is caught in the middle too.

dotEPUB is the best way to save and annotate websites in iBooks

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dotEPUB turns web pages into fantastic-looking ebooks.
dotEPUB turns web pages into fantastic-looking ebooks.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In my constant search for a way to save and annotate webpages like I used to do with Instapaper before it cut off access to Europe instead of complying with GDPR laws, I came across a great service called dotEPUB.

This quick-and-easy service lets you save and convert any webpage into an EPUB document. Then you can open the file in Apple’s Books app and mark it up just like any other ebook. Let’s take a look at how dotEPUB works.

The Kindle app puts an entire library in your hand [50 Essential iOS Apps #16]

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The Kindle app is the perfect platform for reading e-books on iPad or iPhone. It's one of Cult of Mac's 50 essential iOS apps.
The Kindle app is the perfect platform for reading e-books on iPad or iPhone.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Amazon Kindle appReading books. It’s something we’ve all done at some point in our lives. People read for fun, learning or taking a break. The trouble is, having a huge collection of books takes up space and can literally weigh you down.

E-books are the solution, and the Kindle app is an excellent way to enjoy the world of literature without straining your back or your physical space. With the Kindle app, you can carry an entire library’s worth of books on your iPad or iPhone.

Amazon Kindle app gets iPad multitasking at last

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Amazon Kindle in Split View
Amazon Kindle can now be displayed next to another app.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Viewing two applications at once came to the iPad way back in iOS 9, but the Amazon Kindle app only just now supports it. The new multitasking feature enables tablet users to have a book open while using another app.

And this isn’t the only notable improvement in the just-released update to Amazon’s Kindle app.

Apple and resellers accused of iPhone price-fixing in Russia

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The iPhone 6s is Apple's best smartphone yet. But is it worth the upgrade?
Russia is investigating Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple doesn’t sell iPhones directly in Russia, but it’s being investigated by the country’s federal Anti-Monopoly Service for colluding with resellers to fix the price on its devices.

The government agency revealed today that it has opened a case against Apple and 16 major resellers that all had identical prices for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models when they launched in Russia in October 2015.

E-book customers receive payouts for Apple price fixing

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money
Affected customers will get their share of Apple's $450 million payout.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Bringing an end to Apple’s long-running iBooks price fixing scandal, affected customers will today receive their settlement payment for books bought between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.

Settlements work out at $1.57 for the majority of e-books, increasing to $6.93 for New York Times bestsellers. Publishers involved in the suit include the Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster — all of whom were found guilty of colluding with Apple to fix e-book prices.

Authors ask Supreme Court to overturn e-book ruling against Apple

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ibooks
Did antitrust investigators target the wrong company?
Photo: Apple

A group of authors and booksellers are standing by Apple in its decision to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling stating that Apple conspired to fix eBook prices when it launched its iBook store way back in January 2010.

The Authors Guild, Authors United, the American Booksellers Association, and Barnes & Noble have all banded together to file an “amicus brief” in the United States, arguing that the belief that Apple was taking place in “anti-competitive activities” was “misplaced.”

Free at last! Apple finally ditches controversial antitrust monitor

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Apple can't ditch its ebook compliance monitor.
Apple has finally parted ways with Michael Bromwich.
Photo: Apple

Apple has finally ditched its controversial antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich after two years of what Apple acknowledges has been a “rocky relationship.”

Bromwich was first installed in Cupertino back in October 2013, after Apple was found to have illegally colluded with five book publishers to raise e-book prices in a way that was deemed to have hurt Apple’s competition.

Extra! Extra! Apple wants to keep fighting its eBook price-fixing lawsuit

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gavel-court-hammer-judge-lawsuit
This is like a really, really long John Grisham novel.

In a story that would, ironically, make a pretty good eBook holiday thriller, Apple has dredged up its seemingly-ended eBook pricing conspiracy lawsuit — asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling stating that Apple conspired to fix eBook prices when it launched its original iPad and iBook store in January 2010.

Yep, it’s the return of the lawsuit that will never end!

Judge suggests Amazon, not Apple, is e-book monopolist

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Apple's eBook appeal is just getting started. Photo: Apple
Apple's eBook appeal is just getting started. Photo: Apple

Apple was found guilty last year of colluding with publishers to raise ebook prices, but now that the antitrust case is being heard by the Second U.S. Court of Appeals, two out of the three appellate judges are starting to see things Apple’s way.

The appeals case kicked off this morning with Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart attempting to compare Apple to a driver taking a narcotics dealer to a drug pick up. The analogy was supposed to make the point that if Apple knew publishers were conspiring to fix ebook prices, it was just as guilty as them for facilitating the conspiracy. However, Fortune reports that Judge Denis Jacobs laughed off the analogy, pointing out that drug trafficking is one of the few “industries in which the law does not look with favor or new entrants.”

The comment drew a chorus of laughs in the courtroom, but Judge Jacob’s concerns went even further, as the the judge questioned whether the government should have even brought the case to court.