The Restaurant Wasn’t Kosher, and Neither Was the Conversation

Something Fishy Served Up at Picholine?

Is this a joke?

A Melville House posting by Kelly Burdick has allegedly unearthed email exchanges among executives of some Big Six Publishers plus Steve Jobs of Apple setting up a dinner to discuss “the $9.99 problem”. The email thread comes from “From deep inside the files of the Justice Department”, says Melville, and if verified will explain why the Department of Justice pressed its collusion case – and why at least three of the accused settled.

Clearly, the interchanges didn’t pass DoJ’s smell test. Does it pass yours? Here is the email that allegedly started it (reproduced, deletions and all, from the Melville House posting):

From: Makinson, John (jMakinson@us.penguingroup.com)
To: jSargent@macmillan.com, xxxx@hachettebookgroup.com, xxxx@harpercollins.com, xxxx@simonandschuster.com, dShanks@us.penguingroup.com, xxx@xxxxxxxx.com
cc: steve@apple.com
Date: Monday, September 22, 2008, 10:46am
Subject: the $9.99 problem

Let’s get together again and keep discussing the “the $9.99 problem.” Where and when works?

For the complete thread read The Collusion Files: how it really happened by Kelly Burdick. Is this true or have we been punked?

Richard Curtis

This blog post was originally published on Digital Book World as On the Dinner Menu: Fishy Discussions about “$9.99 Problem”

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2 Responses to The Restaurant Wasn’t Kosher, and Neither Was the Conversation

  1. Alan says:

    Yeah, I think you’ve been punked. The quotes match the PDF submission, but if they actually had an email thread like that, I think _all_ the defendants would have settled immediately :). Looks more like a “dramatic reproduction”.

    Sending a direct email about prices to 5 competitors (and allegedly conspiring retailer)? Even CEOs aren’t that stupid.

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