The American Booksellers Association is the latest organisation to speak out against the US Department of Justice’s proposed settlement with publishers accused of colluding over the prices of e-books.
In a letter to the DOJ, ABA CEO Oren Teicher says ending agency pricing as required in the DOJ’s settlement with three publishers would “significantly discourage new entry, and will lead to the departure from the market of a sizeable number of the independent bookstores that are currently selling e-books.”
Teicher’s letter says his organisation “supports” agency pricing and “corrects a distortion in the market fostered primarily by Amazon.com”.
The letter repeats claims made by retailer Barnes & Noble that agency has led to falling prices for books and warns that banning it would “lead to the departure from the market of a sizeable number of the independent bookstores that are currently selling e-books.”
Teicher also claims such an outcome creates “a significant danger that Amazon will again regain a monopoly share in the sale of e-books “.
The ABA CEO says “publishers should not be barred from individually choosing to adopt this legal and prudent business strategy” in future contracts with retailers.