August 17, 2020
Book Industry Leaders Send Joint Letter to Capitol Hill Regarding Amazon’s Concentrated Market Power and Control
Groups representing thousands of authors, publishers, and booksellers request action in wake of unprecedented House investigation of digital markets
Following the House Antitrust Subcommittee’s capstone digital markets hearing, “Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 6: Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google,” three groups representing thousands of authors, publishers, and booksellers in the United States – the Association of American Publishers, Authors Guild, and American Booksellers Association – have sent a joint letter to Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) enumerating a series of anti-competitive tactics that permit Amazon to exercise extraordinary market dominance over the advertising and sale of books in digital markets. Its practices against both book suppliers and book customers have threatened the vitality of the American publishing industry and rendered any meaningful competition from other publishers, booksellers, or emerging platforms impossible.
“The Subcommittee’s work has shown that Amazon holds an outsized position of power and control in our country, giving it the ability to interfere with the free flow of information, ideas and literature on a large scale,” the letter tells the Chairman. “With great appreciation for your leadership, we note that the American book publishing industry is and always has been uniquely intertwined with our democracy. Many authors, publishers, and booksellers along the way have contributed to the marketplace of ideas, and we hope that many more will emerge and thrive to the benefit of the public. This will not happen, however, unless government officials step in decisively to exercise appropriate governance of Amazon.”
The full letter can be viewed here.