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Monday, December 4, 2023

Authors name on FTC to research Amazon’s alleged monopoly within the bookselling business

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Amazon is already going through a possible lawsuit from the Federal Commerce Fee, and now, a bunch of authors, booksellers, and an antitrust suppose tank is looking on the company to research the e-commerce big’s stranglehold on the bookselling market, as previously reported by The New York Times.

In the letter, the Authors Guild, American Booksellers Affiliation, and Open Markets Institute urge the FTC to look into Amazon’s “monopoly in its position as a vendor of books to the general public.” The three organizations accuse Amazon of dominating “nearly each facet of the ebook market,” citing information that the corporate sells over 50 % of all bodily books within the retail market, 90 % of bodily books offered on-line, and over 80 % of all ebooks available on the market.

As alleged within the letter, Amazon’s dominance within the publishing business, plus its full management over the bookselling course of, means “nothing is stopping it from utilizing its management to hurt publishers, booksellers, readers, and authors because it continues to line its personal pockets.” Amazon, which first began out as an internet site for promoting books, has grown to grow to be a significant participant within the publishing business, creating its personal Kindle e-reader and working a self-publishing platform. The corporate additionally owns the ebook evaluation web site Goodreads together with the bookselling web site AbeBooks.

“Amazon has an outsized energy to manage what readers see when searching for books.”

“Amazon has an outsized energy to manage what readers see when searching for books. Solely Amazon understands how its algorithm works,” the letter reads. “Amazon can up-rank and down-rank titles at a whim. As Amazon steers readers in direction of its personal titles and away from rivals, many readers find yourself shopping for books which are much less related, much less attention-grabbing, or of decrease high quality than had they been in a position to decide on in an open and aggressive market.”

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In latest months, numerous reports have emerged that the FTC is readying an antitrust lawsuit in opposition to Amazon, and it could happen as soon as this month. Amazon is anticipated to have a “final rites” assembly with the FTC this week, which generally takes place earlier than a lawsuit is filed, according to Politico. It’s nonetheless not clear whether or not the FTC will goal Amazon’s dominance within the bookselling business, however among the arguments outlined on this letter are laborious to disregard.

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