A European bookselling lobbying group has called on the European Commission to investigate Amazon’s monopoly on the book market.
Francoise Dubruille, director of the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), of which the UK’s Booksellers Association is a member, met with Despina Spanou, director for consumer policy at the European Commission, to discuss the issue.
Dubruille told PC World magazine: "In the end, if you only have one big retailer on the market like Amazon, this retailer will impose its bargaining, its rebate and its commercial conditions on the publishers. And if publishers have limited choice in retail channels they will be squeezed by that giant retailer." She argued that if that happened, publishing’s diversification would be impacted because publishers would have less money to invest in new books.
Dubruille reportedly asked the Commission to push its consumer lobbying arm BEUC to raise awareness of the issue among customers.
Earlier this year the EIBF also backed the German Booksellers Association in filing a complaint against Amazon to the German competition authorities, arguing that Amazon’s dominance in the market detracted from consumer choice as it eventually leads to fewer outlets selling books.
Just last month, The Publishers Association in the UK published an eight-point manifesto, including calling for a government-initiated inquiry into the UK market, saying it “suffers from a chronic and debilitating imbalance for authors, publishers and booksellers”.
In the US, the Authors Guild has confirmed it has met with Department of Justice officials to request an Amazon investigation.