Friday, March 28, 2008

Update On Situation With Amazon

In my earlier post I quoted Publishers Lunch in indicating that it did not yet appear Amazon's mandate applied to traditional or e-publishers.

Publishers Weekly for today says:

"Over the last year, BookSurge has been trying to cut into the market share of pod leader Lightning Source and is using the selling clout of Amazon to generate more business. 'I feel like the flea between two giant elephants,' said the head of one pod publisher about the upcoming battle between Lightning Source and BookSurge/Amazon. He said although the deal with BookSurge will be more expensive, he has no choice but to make the move since most of his authors expect their titles to be for sale on Amazon. He added that his company will also continue to use Lightning Source for printing as well. Amazon's BookSurge mandate extends to traditional publishers as well as to online pod houses. Neither Amazon nor BookSurge returned calls . . ."

I'm not a lawyer, but I find myself wondering about this move. I have memories of when the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit against Microsoft back in 1998. Here's a part of that press release:

"The Justice Department today charged Microsoft with engaging in anticompetitive and exclusionary practices designed to maintain its monopoly in personal computer operating systems and to extend that monopoly to internet browsing software. Twenty state Attorneys General and the District of Columbia filed a similar action today.

'Consumers and computer manufacturers should have the right to choose the software they want installed on their personal computers,' said Attorney General Janet Reno. 'We are acting to preserve competition and promote innovation in the computer software industry'."

I would think some of the same issues would apply here. Read the whole press release from the Justice Department here.

In case you're wondering, "On November 2, 2001, the DOJ reached an agreement with Microsoft to settle the case. The proposed settlement required Microsoft to share its application programming interfaces with third-party companies . . ." (Wikipedia)

Stay tuned . . .

1 comment:

Shelli Stevens said...

Thanks for posting this, Maya! I've been hopping around blogs and news sites all day, just drinking it all in. I need a Tums now.