Amazon Says It Will Only Sell Print-On-Demand Books That It Gets To Print

from the well,-that's-not-very-neighborly dept

Amazon has generally been a rather friendly neighbor in the e-commerce world, not acting vindictively against competitors, but focusing on improving its customer experience continuously, and figuring that's a better way to beat the competition. Apparently, that's not working in the print-on-demand space, however. You may recall that in 2005 Amazon bought a print-on-demand company. There are a few other print-on-demand companies out there, some of which have pretty good reputations and are probably more widely known than Amazon's print-on-demand offering. It would appear that Amazon has a problem with that. It's now saying that it won't sell books from competing print-on-demand shops, requiring anyone who wants to do print-on-demand to use Amazon's (more expensive) service. This is a pretty aggressive (and totally unnecessary) move. You would think that Amazon might play nicer. Any bets on how long it takes for another print-on-demand firm to sue over this decision?
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Filed Under: books, competition, print on demand
Companies: amazon


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  1. identicon
    Author, 30 Mar 2008 @ 10:05pm

    Contact Washington State Antitrust

    A good case can be made that what Amazon is attempting to do violates anti-trust laws. Waiting for federal anti-trust action would take many years--years to get the Justice Department to act, years of trials, years of fussing over what the court decision means. Notice how long it took to deal with Microsoft's tactics, despite the fact that the corporations they were bullying were large and powerful. None of us can afford that long a wait.

    Action at the state level, however, could move much faster, particularly if it involves off-the-record contact and a somber warning from those who can make trouble for Amazon. Amazon is headquartered in Seattle about a ten minute drive from the office of the Antitrust division of the Washington state attorney general. Here's the contact information:

    Office of the Attorney General

    Antitrust Division

    800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2000

    Seattle, WA 98104-3188

    http://www.atg.wa.gov/Antitrust/default.aspx

    Telephone: 206-587-5510

    Fax: 206-464-6338

    Note the remark on that web page that "The Antitrust Division only processes complaints that involve either Washington State residents or businesses located in Washington State." Amazon is in Washington state, so it matters not where you are. You might also want to raise the issue with your state attorney general's antitrust office, asking them to get in touch with their colleagues in Seattle. If you're a publisher, encourage your authors to write. If you're an author, encourage other writers to contact them.

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