Authors United event to discuss Amazon's 'misuse of power'

Authors United event to discuss Amazon's 'misuse of power'

Campaign group Authors United is set to hold an event to discuss Amazon’s “enormous market power” and the "misuse" of that power, in Washington DC next week.

The event, to be held on Wednesday 27th January at the New American Foundation, is entitled Amazon's Book Monopoly: A Threat to Freedom of Expression? and aims to “shine a light on how Amazon's monopoly, and its heavy-handed behaviour, are already affecting the free flow of ideas in our society”.

Those participating in the discussion include Scott Turow, Susan Cheever, Mark Coker, Franklin Foer, Jonathan Kanter, Eric Simonoff, Maurice Stucke, Lina Khan, Haley Sweetland Edwards, Barry Lynn, Douglas Preston and John R MacArthur.

Authors United was set up by writer Douglas Preston during the dispute between Amazon and Hachette Book Group in the US. The event follows a letter the group wrote to the Department of Justice in America in August, asking it to investigate Amazon, which it alleges has “gained unprecedented power over America’s market for books”.

In an email to supporters, Preston said Authors United and the Authors Guild had a “good” meeting with the DoJ to discuss their  concerns.

“While Justice staff did not (and cannot) give us any indication of whether they would investigate, they took our concerns seriously,” he said. The group has put the event together next week in partnership with the Authors Guild and the New America Foundation to discuss “Amazon's enormous market power and the ways we believe it has misused that power to the detriment of authors and the book industry”.

He added: “Never in the history of our country has a single corporation dominated a vital marketplace of information - until today.”

Tickets to the event, held between 12.15pm-3.15pm are free and include lunch, Preston added.

Amazon is yet to respond to a request for comment.