EIBF backs German publishers in Amazon complaint

EIBF backs German publishers in Amazon complaint

The European and International Booksellers Federation has supported the German Publishers Association in filing a complaint against Amazon to competition authorities.

The EIBF has released a statement saying it supports the German trade association's application to the German Federal Antitrust Authority because it believes Amazon’s dominance in the market detracts from consumer choice as it eventually leads to fewer outlets selling books.

“Consumers are the ultimate losers when single companies abuse a dominant market position to impose unfair business conditions on providers.  Conversely, consumers and societies benefit when retailers are operating on a level playing field and there is healthy competition among them,” the EIBF said. It added: “The European and International Booksellers Federation strongly believes that public policies should promote a competitive business environment so that consumers can have access to a broad array of retailers and a wide range of books in all formats.”

Oren Teicher, c.e.o of the American Booksellers Association and vice-president for international affairs at EIBF, said that the publishing industry was being increasingly held “hostage" by a company "far more interested in selling flat screen TVs, diapers, and groceries” than books. He added: “It is clear that Amazon is prepared to sacrifice a diverse publishing ecosystem to achieve retail dominance. That’s not good for authors, readers, or our society no matter what country you live in."

Dr Kyra Dreher, managing director of the Retail Booksellers Committee, said that the company’s business practices could pose a threat to all e-book sellers and distributors across the world.

Meanwhile, Fabian Paagman, c.e.o of Paagman Boekhandel in the Hague and board member of the Koninklijke Boekverkopersbond, vice-president in charge of digital affairs at EIBF, said: “Europe stands for a free and open market space with fair competition securing a variety of booksellers to offer a broad range of titles – both online as offline. As a member of EIBF, the Royal Dutch Booksellers association strongly supports the action taken upon by our German colleagues to secure this fundamental right.”