A new lawsuit filed in New York alleges that Amazon and five book publishers are colluding to fix prices for e-books, as reported by The Guardian.
The publishers include Penguin Random House, Hachette, Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins and Macmillan, which are often referred to as the ‘Big Five.’
The lawsuit alleges that the publishing companies pay high commissions to Amazon, which increases the price of e-books on the platform. It argues that this forces consumers to pay higher prices for e-books that are purchased on platforms other than Amazon.
“Amazon’s agreement with its Co-conspirators is an unreasonable restraint of trade that prevents competitive pricing and causes Plaintiffs and other consumers to overpay when they purchase ebooks from the Big Five through an ebook retailer that competes with Amazon,” the lawsuit alleges. “That harm persists and will not abate unless Amazon and the Big Five are stopped.”
The lawsuit is seeking compensation for consumers who bought e-books through other retailers. It also seeks relief that would require the online retailer and the Big Five to “stop enforcing anti-competitive price restraints.”
It’s worth noting that the firm that filed this class action lawsuit successfully sued Apple and the five publishers 10 years ago for the same issue.
Source: The Guardian