Amazon.com, Inc. which is an American multinational technology company based in Seattle, Washington, has been accused of selling ebooks at inflated prices, and it faces a class-action lawsuit for the same on Thursday. They have been accused of carrying out this activity in collusion with some publishers.
For anyone unknown to the concept of ebook on a digital platform like Amazon, here is how it is like. Amazon Kindle is a series of e-readers designed and marketed by Amazon. Amazon Kindle devices enable users to browse, buy, download, and read e-books, newspapers, magazines, and other digital media via wireless networking to the Kindle Store. To access ebooks on Amazon, one simply has to Go to read.amazon.com to open Kindle Cloud Reader. You may need to sign in with your Amazon account. Your Kindle Library is displayed on the main page. Select a book to start reading.
However, the lawsuit alleges that Amazon and the five largest U.S. publishers, collectively called the ‘Big Five’, agreed to price restraints that in turn cause consumers to overpay for eBooks purchased from them through a retail platform other than Amazon.com. The “Big Five” includes Hatchet, Harper Collins, Macmillan, Penguin-Random House, and Simon & Schuster.
To such an allegation, spokespeople for both Amazon and Macmillan declined to comment. Spokespeople for the other publishing companies were not immediately available for comment.
The case was brought by law firm Hagens Berman and filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The complaint states that Amazon’s co-conspirators were also involved in a similar lawsuit earlier. In 2011, Hagens Berman filed a similar lawsuit against Apple and the “Big Five” over ebook prices.
“Amazon’s abuse of power proves, yet again, that when it comes to violating antitrust laws, the New Economy is up to the same old tricks,” Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, said in a statement.
In response to a threat to their profit arising from the discounted pricing of the retailer of e-books, as part of a plan to artificially fix ebook prices, publishers entered into agreements with Apple allowing publishers all wholesale Changed from model to an agency model. The successful class action culminated in Apple settling for $ 400 million (about Rs 2,900 crore) and publishers settling for even more.