A small independent bookstore filed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon last week, alleging that the e-commerce giant colluded with the five major book publishers to fix wholesale prices and block other sellers “from competing on price or product availability.”
The suit seeks to compensate independent booksellers for Amazon’s and publishers’ practices and put an injunction on the alleged anticompetitive practices. The named plaintiff is Bookends and Beginnings, a physical and online bookstore located in Evanston, Illinois, just north of Chicago. Amazon, which got its start selling books during the dot-com boom, has dominated the retail book market in recent years, selling an estimated 90% of all e-books and over 40% of physical books.
The current lawsuit targets Amazon’s practices in the market for physical trade books, which is publishing industry lingo for fiction and nonfiction books that are not textbooks or other reference materials.