Amazon hit with class-action lawsuit over eBook price fixing

Amazon was slapped with a class-action lawsuit accusing the e-commerce giant of inflating the prices of ebooks


Reuters January 15, 2021
PHOTO: Amazon

Amazon was slapped with a class-action lawsuit on Thursday accusing the e-commerce giant of inflating the prices of ebooks in collusion with some publishers.

The lawsuit alleges that Amazon and the five largest US publishers, collectively called the 'Big Five', agreed to price restraints that cause consumers to overpay for eBooks purchased from them through a retail platform other than Amazon.

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The lawsuit comes a day after Connecticut said it was investigating Amazon for potentially anti-competitive behavior in its business selling digital books.

Amazon declined to comment.

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About 90% of eBooks are sold through Amazon, the largest US eBooks seller, the lawsuit claimed.

Law firm Hagens Berman, bringing the case, in 2011 filed a similar lawsuit against Apple and the ‘Big Five’ over ebook prices.

In December, more than 400 lawmakers from 34 countries have signed a letter to Amazon.com Inc boss Jeff Bezos backing a campaign that claims the tech giant has “dodged and dismissed … debts to workers, societies, and the planet,” organisers said.

 

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