Germany: Antitrust experts eye Amazon for blackmailing publishers

Amazon is currently under fire in Germany as the German Publishers and Booksellers Association is examining the online shopping giant for possible antitrust violations after Amazon decided to delay the delivery of books by German publisher Bonnier.

It’s part of a wider feud that began when Amazon decided to discourage shoppers from purchasing books from the publisher Hachette. Reports say Amazon escalated the tension by refusing to fulfill Hachette purchases, starting late Thursday.

Reports say Amazon is under pressure to improve its profit margins and resolve disputes between Hachette and Bonnier over eBook sales.

But in Germany, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association announced that its antitrust specialists are examining Amazon’s practices as possible abuses of its market dominance.

Antitrust disputes in the eBooks sector escalated in recent years. Major US publishers and Apple were recently probed by the Department of Justice over claims Apple made anticompetitive agreements with the publishers over eBook sales. The publishers eventually settled.

Full content: Boston Globe

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