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US: Judge rejects indie booksellers’ claims against Amazon, publishers

 |  December 11, 2013

A federal judge tossed an antitrust lawsuit filed against online retailer Amazon and major book publishers, slamming the claims as evasive, vague and without merit.

Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed the case filed by independent booksellers that claimed Amazon was attempting to establish a monopoly and conspired with major publishers to prevent rival publishers from having their eBooks published on the Amazon e-reader, the Kindle.

Reports say the case is considered bizarre and its dismissal is not surprising, as an earlier case against the same publishers for their alleged role conspiring against Amazon, whereas these independent booksellers were claiming those publishers were simultaneously co-conspiring with Amazon.

The indie retailers had named the so-called Big Six publishers in their case, the same major publishers allegedly involved in the Apple eBooks price-fixing conspiracy. Judge Rakoff’s decision to toss the case came the same day eBooks Judge Denise Cote finalized Macmillan and Penguin’s consumer settlements in the eBooks price-fixing case.

In his dismissal, Judge Rakoff said “the evasiveness of this allegation is remarkable,” slamming the plaintiffs for failing to be specific and valid in their case.

Full Content: Publishers Weekly

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