Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is accused of using pricing schemes in manipulating sales of different e-books to its favor. Authors United is a group formed by the literary champions that intend to stop this discrimination oriented towards creating a monopolistic statute for the company. Andrew Wylie managed to get 300 writers in the group, which includes Saul Bellow, Roberto Bolaño, Joseph Brodsky, William Burroughs, John Cheever, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller and Hunter S. Thompson, and write a formal letter to Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s management and antitrust regulators, according to The New York Times.
The publisher most affected by the e-commerce giant is Hachette, which saw its books as unavailable for an advance order. Authors started to grudge with the company’s deeds. They mainly are designed to suffocate the demand for the given book. As an example, we can see prints from the publisher that were on discount a certain while, but that aren’t anymore and can take up to three weeks to be shipped. Other forms of this practice include a smaller price reduction like the actual one, i.e. “The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea” was improperly discounted by 25% in the beginning of sales then discounted by a sheer 10% afterwards.
“Governments use censorship for moral and political ends, justifiable or not. Amazon is using censorship to gain total market control so they can dictate to publishers what they can publish, to authors what they can write, to readers what they can buy. This is more than unjustifiable, it is intolerable,” Ursula K. Le Guin was quoted as saying.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s officials did not comment on the case, and no details regarding the special treatment of different books has been granted. Actually, there’s little chance to construct a viable case based only on price patterns, however, if it can be proven that these practices negatively influence demand, Hachette and Authors United can get the regulators force Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) adopt other pricing strategies.
A couple of years ago, the company dissipated other accusations of similar nature. Among the companies pointing fingers were Hachette and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which lost in court after the former company settled the case. Consequently, it will take some time till there will be any formal verdict to this so called censorship issue.
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