Letter to EU Competition Commission re Amazon’s monopoly and eBook agency model
Below is my email of 16 May to Joaquin Almunia, EU Competition Commissioner, re their investigation into the eBook agency pricing model (see my post Agency Pricing of eBook – Who Benefits?) and the fact that they should actually be investigating Amazon’s dominant market position, and abuse of this position, in the online retailing of both physical books and eBooks.
16 May 2012 by email (via contact page on EU Competition Commission website)
Dear Sr. Alumnia,
I understand you are investigating the eBooks agency pricing model adopted by a number of leading publishers.
As Director of Books4Spain.com, a recently launched online bookshop selling English language books and eBooks about Spain, I have attached the letter I have written to the US Dept of Justice regarding their own investigation/legal proceedings into the eBook agency model.
As you will see, I do not feel the agency model is an anti-competitive model – what our experience suggests is that you should be investigating Amazon for abusing its dominant market position in eBooks as well as online book retailing (as of today we still have not received an answer from them regarding how they came to approach one of our reviewers).
I would also point out that a government approved fixed price cartel for physical books exists in France, Spain and Germany so what makes eBooks different- apart from the fact they suffer full rate VAT versus physical books?
Thank you for your attention and I look forward to hearing from you.