Keurig Will Use DRM In New Coffee Maker To Lock Out Refill Market

vbimport

#1

The single coffee cup craze has been rolling now for several years in both the United States and Canada, with Keurig, Tassimo, and Nespresso all battling it out to lock down the market. In order to protect their dominant market share, Keurig makers Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has been on a bit of an aggressive tear of late. As with computer printers, getting the device in the home is simply a gateway to where the real money is: refills. But Keurig has faced the “problem” in recent years of third-party pod refills that often retail for 5-25% less than what Keurig charges. As people look to cut costs, there has also been a growing market for reusable pods that generally run anywhere from five to fifteen dollars.

Keurig’s solution to this problem? In a lawsuit (pdf) filed against Keurig by TreeHouse Foods, they claim Keurig has been busy striking exclusionary agreements with suppliers and distributors to lock competing products out of the market. What’s more, TreeHouse points out that Keurig is now developing a new version of their coffee maker that will incorporate the java-bean equivalent of DRM – so that only Keurig’s own coffee pods can be used in it:"Green Mountain has announced a new anticompetitive plan to maintain its monopoly by redesigning its brewers to lock out competitors’ products. Such lock-out technology cannot be justified based on any purported consumer benefit, and Green Mountain itself has admitted that the lock-out technology is not essential for the new brewers’ function. Like its exclusionary agreements, this lock-out technology is intended to serve anticompetitive and unlawful ends."The plan was confirmed by Keurig’s CEO who stated on a recent earnings call that the new maker indeed won’t work with “unlicensed” pods as part of an effort to deliver “game-changing performance.” “Keurig 2.0” is expected to launch this fall. French Press and pour-over manufacturers like Chemex have plenty of time to get their thank you notes to Keurig in the mail ahead of time as users are hopefully nudged toward the realization they could be drinking much better coffee anyway.
Link: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140227/06521826371/keurig-will-use-drm-new-coffee-maker-to-lock-out-refill-market.shtml

:cool::cool:


#2

These idiots can’t seem to get it through their heads that trying to control their customers’ behavior for reasons of massive greed NEVER works in the long run. I predict Keurig will see a marked drop off in sales of their machines when this kicks in. I also predict there will be a work-around to this trick in short order.


#3

I thought this was a joke! Incredible!


#4

[QUOTE=UTR;2721279]These idiots can’t seem to get it through their heads that trying to control their customers’ behavior for reasons of massive greed NEVER works in the long run. I predict Keurig will see a marked drop off in sales of their machines when this kicks in. I also predict there will be a work-around to this trick in short order.[/QUOTE]
:iagree:

I am sure that some people will think that this is a great idea, why put DRM on music and movies when you can control the food and the drinks?


#5

I thought it was just me noticing an unusually large amount of promotional material going about Tassimo based machines over the Christmas period. Then it became clear when I recently read some reviews on them for curiosity and saw a trick Tassimo was doing.

While most products leave the sales to January, these pod coffee machines sold the pod refills unusually cheap in December. This meant people researching them as a potential gift would have seen that they are reasonably “cheap” to run and would make a nice gift for their coffee lover (or themselves.) Then came January and the pod refill prices shot way up. Whoops…

As for the Keurig, well DRM says it all - [B]D[/B]umpster [B]R[/B]eady [B]M[/B]achine :slight_smile:

If I ever decide to fork out on something nice, it would be a bean to cup cappuccino maker. Then again, by that time, it may be possible for machines to analyse the beans to make sure you’re using genuine [I](some name brand)[/I] coffee beans. :doh:


#6

My Keurig Platnium is one my favorite kitchen applicances, I use the K-Cups from Dunkin Donuts and Costco, if they make it so I can only use Keurig K-Cups, I might be very upset.:bigsmile::bigsmile:


#7

Assuming this uses some form of passive chip in the refills, like a printer, its only a matter of time before “compatible” refills start showing up.


#8

[QUOTE=CDan;2721334]Assuming this uses some form of passive chip in the refills, like a printer, its only a matter of time before “compatible” refills start showing up.[/QUOTE]

I have faith in the Chinese to solve this problem on behalf of the consumer.