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ABA Seeks to Join FTC Lawsuit Against Amazon Over Antitrust Concerns

 |  April 30, 2024

The American Booksellers Association (ABA) has expressed its intention to join a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against the eCommerce giant Amazon. The lawsuit, which accuses Amazon of engaging in anti-competitive behavior, has now gained additional momentum with the ABA’s request to participate, highlighting the broader concerns within the bookselling industry regarding Amazon’s dominance.

The ABA, representing independent bookstores, has voiced concerns over Amazon’s practices, which they argue harm the competitive landscape for other booksellers.

According to a report by Publishers Weekly, the ABA believes that Amazon’s actions, including alleged predatory pricing and exclusive distribution agreements, have significantly disadvantaged independent retailers.

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“The ABA believes our motion to intervene will help the FTC’s efforts to stop Amazon’s exclusionary conduct that has hurt small business, the book industry, and ultimately consumers,” ABA CEO Allison Hill said in a statement. “We’re not talking about simply an unlevel playing field; left unchecked for almost 30 years, Amazon now owns the playing field and sets the rules of the game. As independent bookstores’ biggest competitor, Amazon’s exclusionary conduct directly impacting independent booksellers must be addressed explicitly in this suit. We believe the facts we bring to the table will significantly bolster key arguments made by the FTC in their already strong and compelling case.”

The FTC’s lawsuit against Amazon is part of a broader effort by regulatory bodies to address potential antitrust violations by major technology companies. By seeking to join this lawsuit, the ABA aims to represent the interests of independent bookstores and highlight the specific challenges they face due to Amazon’s market practices.

As the legal proceedings against Amazon continue, the outcome of this lawsuit could have significant implications for the bookselling industry and the broader debate over antitrust enforcement in the digital economy.

Source: Publishers Weekly