Publishers Lunch directed readers to the Writers' Weekly website yesterday where Angela Hoy posted the statement from the Washington State Attorney General. The AG indicated that, as a result of the numerous complaints they'd received regarding Amazon's demand that clients use BookSurge, Amazon's proprietary POD company, they'd contacted the company.
Read the entire statement here.
Amazon in a Price War
The London Times Online had a story about Amazon crying foul:
Amazon is angry that Penguin, Bloomsbury and others are discounting titles on their websites, encouraging customers to buy direct instead of using the online retailer.
Read the entire story here.
New York State About to Collect Sales Tax From Internet Retailers
I will admit to a perverse pleasure in the fact that Amazon is threatening to sue the State of New York for charging it sales tax on online sales.
Jane over at Dear Author wrote last Thursday supporting Amazon's position. You can read her post here.
I disagree with Jane. Bookstores located in New York are paying the sales tax. Amazon is not, giving Amazon an unfair competitive advantage. If the bookstores are forced to close due to lagging sales, staff will be laid off, money will be lost to the local economy. The law says if Amazon uses local websites for click-throughs, they need to pay the tax. I think it's right.
Congress let Internet retailers off the hook on sales tax while they were growing. Now those businesses are mature, and Internet sales are well-established. If they're using local representatives in a state to help their business via click-throughs, the retailers should pay the state tax.
Read the story here.
Gotta say: this feels like a case of what goes around, comes around. New York is offering Amazon the same choice Amazon offered the small publishers: "If you don't like it, go elsewhere."