According to the latest news, Amazon is facing a new lawsuit that alleges the company and five book publishers has created higher prices for e-books. It was reported by The Wall Street Journal first. The lawsuit was filed by Hagens Berman law firm. It was filed in a federal district court in New York.
The lawsuit alleges that the publishers pay high commissions to Amazon, which in turn increases the retail price of e-books sold on the platform. As per the deal between Amazon and publishers like HarperCollins Publishers, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan, the Amazon price is the price the publishers charge other retailers. This prevents other sellers from offering e-books at a lower price. The lawsuit claims that the five publishers account for 80 per cent of books sold in the US. It calls the whole arrangement a “conspiracy to fix the retail price of e-books”.
Back in 2012, in another e-book lawsuit, the Justice Department accused Apple of conspiring with major book publishers by inflating e-book prices above the $9.99 price that Amazon preferred in an attempt to compete with Amazon. Hagens Berman was the lead counsel of the case. Apple denied any wrongdoing in terms of e-book pricing. The publishers settled, but Apple went to court and lost and agreed a US $ 540 settlement with the US $ 400 million issued as refunds to consumers.
Amazon and Penguin Random House declined to comment. Other publishers were not immediately available to make a comment.