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Graphic-Arts Groups Grumpy About Adobe/FedEx Kinko's Deal

(August 2007) posted on Thu Aug 09, 2007


A deal that Adobe and FedEx Kinko’s struck in June has proven to be a hot-button issue among graphic-arts organizations. DICE, NAPL, NAPQ, and PIA/GATF have all expressed concern over the inclusion of a tool in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader 8.1 that would allows users to connect to FedEx Kinko’s Print Online.

“When it was discovered that Adobe had made the decision to include a ‘send to FedEx Kinko’s’ button in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader, we felt terribly betrayed by the company who has been supported by the printing industry,” says Michael Makin, president and CEO of
PIA/GATF, Sewickley, PA. “We understand the need to make the workflow process as efficient as possible, but Adobe’s decision to give up its neutrality and try to align its business with one printer is unacceptable. It is our hope that Adobe’s CEO, Bruce Chizen, will realize the mistake that has been made and rectify the situation as soon as possible.

In a joint letter to Adobe, Paramus, NJ-based NAPL and Des Plaines, IL-based NAPQ wrote: “We fully understand Adobe’s wish to make document production as efficient as possible for the end user—an objective shared by our membership…. However, by aligning with only one provider as a means of offering these efficiencies, Adobe has, in our view, provided an unfair competitive advantage to FedEx Kinko’s.... The advantage gained by FedEx Kinko’s through this agreement with Adobe comes at the expense of the many other printers—including many of our members—who have played such a pivotal role in establishing Adobe as the defacto standard among many end users for reading documents and printing file submission. Many of our member companies have, with the encouragement of Adobe, actively promoted the use of Adobe Acrobat products—and a PDF workflow—with their clients.”

DICE, East Hampton, NY, issued the following: “For many years, DICE has had a strong, supportive relationship with Adobe—one valued by both Adobe and our member companies. From our perspective, Adobe has long been the one company that has served the entire printing industry, in a neutral, platform-independent manner. In that context, Adobe’s decision to include a ‘send to FedEx Kinko’s’ button in Acrobat 8.1 struck a rather raw nerve with our association’s membership. Our members collectively own thousands of Adobe applications, Adobe font packages, and Adobe RIPs. They helped to make PostScript a defacto industry standard in early 90s and to make PDF the accepted foundation for graphic-arts workflows over the last decade. Adobe’s decision to give up its neutrality and funnel print business to a single, international print provider, has greatly diminished [the] company’s standing with many of the printers we represent.”

 


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