Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nele Neuhaus, German Best-Selling Crime Novel Writer Began with Books-on-Demand and Now Has Topped Two Million Sold with a Film Under Way

Category: Crime Novels, Book Publishing and Books on Demand Success Story

The article that is linked below is in German, but you can easily run it through Google Translate and/or the Bing Microsoft Translator and get the main points.

See Mit wenig Geld zum eigenen Buch.

Sabrina Kessler at the German magazine Wirtschafts-Woche (WiWo, Economic Weekly) tells the tale of Nele Neuhaus, best-selling German crime novelist whose book sales have now reached beyond the two million mark.

Her books are thus far available in 20 countries, though I have yet to find English translations, which one would assume would soon be forthcoming.

The first film based on one of her books is also in the making.

Neuhaus started with book-on-demand publisher Monsenstein und Vannerdat and is now under contract at Ullstein Verlag (Neuhaus, here and here).

We have read three of her books thus far and can say that she is a very talented writer whose success will be matched by very few authors.

Nevertheless, it is a great books-on-demand success story.

Credit Card Charges in Europe: EU General Court Upholds European Commission Ruling Against MasterCard While Competition Commissioner Readies Charges Against Visa Europe

A European Commission competition ruling in 2007 prohibiting multilateral interchange fees by MasterCard was upheld by the General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union on May 24, 2012.

For the text of the ruling, see European Court of Justice judgment T-111/08 MasterCard and Others v Commission (Competition).

The European Commission ruling had a significant effect on credit card charges at the time, as MasterCard halved its charges in 2009 to avoid penalties.

Visa Europe reduced debit card charges in 2010, but EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia has said that fees on card transactions are too high and that formal charges against Visa Europe are being readied.

Crossposted at EU Pundit.

Federal Jury Finds Google's Android Software Does Not Infringe Oracle Patents: What Now?

The AP has the lead story at the San Francisco Chronicle in Jury: Google didn't infringe on Oracle patents and Declan McCullagh at CNET News asks: Oracle v. Google: After the jury verdict, what happens next?

As written by Reuters at The Guardian in Google's Android doesn't infringe Oracle's patents, jury decides, some key legal questions remain to be decided by Judge Alsup, but the worst scenario has been avoided.

We are tickled pink with the jury result, which greatly reduces the possibility of injunctions against the sale of Android OS devices, but nevertheless abide by our previously expressed opinion that juries should not be deciding technology cases involving patents.

Is justice blind? Yes.

We loved the image of Justice at the above-cited CNET article and link to it here. Make sure you read the article:

Facebook's IPO a Smashing Success at The Motley Fool

The Facebook IPO also relates to the question of preferred clients of investment houses making a quick buck (or not) just because their status enables them to monopolize the purchase of IPO shares of public offerings.

At The Motley Fool,
Travis Hoium writes inter alia
in Who Says Facebook's IPO Wasn't a Smashing Success? (FB):
"Maybe what we should be doing is cheering the IPO for taking money out of the pockets of hedge funds, institutional investors, and other preferred Morgan Stanley clients and giving it to Facebook. I would much rather see a company get too much from an IPO than watch a preferred group of investors make a quick buck.

As with anything, success is in the eye of the beholder. If you don't yet own shares of Facebook, if you will in the future, or if you're just hoping Facebook does well as a company, you should see the IPO as a smashing success. Forgive me for not feeling bad for those who lost out when they thought the game was stacked in their favor. I'm sure you'll have better luck next time."
There is a lot to be said for that view, regardless of the legal issues involved.

Class-Action Lawsuit by Investors Filed Over Facebook IPO: Winklevoss Settlement Lawsuit Déjà Vu

James Temple and Casey Newton have the story at the San Francisco Chronicle in Facebook investors file lawsuits over IPO.

From an initial valuation of $38 a share and an initial sale at $42 a share, Facebook has now dropped to $32 a share (at the time of this posting).

There can of course be many legitimate reasons cited for this price development, but investors claim that material information was withheld from them, as written in the article cited above:
"The lawsuit claims Facebook's prospectus misstated material facts and omitted relevant information about the company's projected second-quarter performance....

... Section 11 of the Securities Act, which covers offerings, makes it a violation to publish incorrect or incomplete information, even if it was unintentional

... working in Facebook's favor ... are various exemptions for private companies under other sets of rules, particularly one known as Regulation Fair Disclosure.
Curious? Read the whole story at

P.S. Recall that the legal battle between Facebook and the Winklevoss twins regarding their lawsuit settlement revolved about the non-disclosure of material information by Facebook, thereby allegedly leading to an incorrect settlement value. The Ninth Circuit did not handle that lawsuit well at all, concentrating on irrelevant dicta rather than the law, so that it is no surprise to meet a non-disclosure claim again now (regardless of its merits). As we wrote then "you can not, as a Court, put a stamp of approval on fraudulent ... behavior."

P.S.S. Our posting here says nothing about what may be the actual per share value of Facebook down the road as an investment matter. Indeed, our own opinion about the value of Facebook may vary from the current share price. For example, if Facebook turns out not to be just a "fad", it could ultimately be worth far more than its current share price. However, if it proves to be just a "fad", it could be worth much less. The whole idea of investing is that investment is a "crystal-balling risk", anticipating a future which no one can predict.

Moreover, the "IPO" value of shares is another question entirely, with information disclosure being governed by rules governing public offerings.

Please be aware that this material is posted for information only and is in no way advice to buy, sell or hold any Facebook shares. Caveat emptor. YOU alone are responsible for your investments and we disclaim any and all liability for any actions taken or not taken based upon this or other of our postings.

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