Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lawsuits, Bad Blood, and Fierce Competition

Before I launch into this week's blog, I want to thank everyone for their comments from last week's blog, and I've responded to questions in the comments box!

So, once again, the writing community is abuzz with news of trouble for publishers, this time involving Apple. Two consumers’ rights firms have filed a class action lawsuit against Apple and five of the six large publishers for hiking the price of ebook titles for profit (isn’t that what profitable businesses are supposed to do?). An article by Jason Boog in eBookNewser maintains that the collusion between Apple and the publishers was in response to Amazon’s heavily discounted ebook pricing policy, which is having a detrimental affect on their ability to sell books. Whether they win remains to be seen. You can read more about it at

As you probably know, Amazon has entered the traditional book publishing business (with better contracts than other publishers offer, according to some), however, there’s been backlash over this endeavor. Angela Hoy, co-owner of the popular, quotes a Publisher’s Weekly report which claims that some bookstores refuse to carry any of Amazon’s titles. They won’t even purchase them on special request from customers. Let’s face it, Amazon hasn’t made many friends in the bookselling bizz, so this isn’t a surprise.

Although Amazon isn’t part of the class action lawsuit, they remain a player in the scenario and have been subjected to lawsuits themselves, including one launched by Hoy which she talks about in her article. In fact, she has several good links in her piece that will give you a fuller picture of other legal entanglements for Apple and Amazon. The bottom line is that bad blood seems to running strong between publishers, booksellers, amazon, and Apple. It will be interesting to see how this all turns out. You can find Angela’s article at

THE OPPOSITE OF DARK,, Chapters/Indigo


Carole Anne Carr said...

I'm pleased to see that Amazon are having problems. As an independent publisher they take 60%, I pay for the printing and the postage of books to Amazon, and if someone buys from them I make no money at all, in fact I make a loss. Amazon make a profit from destroying small publishers.

KT Wagner said...

Marketplace manipulation in the name of profit? It's wrong, no matter what industry is involved.

I hope the courts resolve this soon.