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US: DOJ called on to referee Amazon, Hachette spat

 |  September 24, 2014

As criticism over Amazon’s business practices mounts since its spat with publishing giant Hachette began, reports say the US Department of Justice may soon be called on to intervene.

More than 1,000 authors are poised to send a letter to DOJ Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust William Baer asking him to “examine Amazon’s business practices.”

Reports emerged earlier this month of a letter sent directly to Amazon by Authors United, warning the company that its strong-arm tactics against Hachette and other publishers would ruin its reputation. Amazon has been under fire for discouraging shoppers from purchasing Hachette products, and reports say the tactic is likely to force Hachette to agree to certain pricing terms.

While experts have speculated as to whether authorities should intervene, and whether Amazon is potentially breaking antitrust law, the DOJ has thus far been quiet on the matter.

But with a letter sent to the watchdog, an investigation could soon open into the online retail giant.

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