The Connecticut Attorney General, William Tong, has confirmed that there is an investigation regarding Amazon’s e-book business. Apparently, some of Amazon’s clients are claiming that Amazon has committed anti-competitive behavior. The investigation involves 5 of the biggest book publishers in the country.
In 2012, the Connecticut Attorney General’s office investigated Apple on similar issue. At the time, there was a claim made that Apple was working with these same 5 publishers to raise book prices. Small and medium-sized bookstores wouldn’t be able to compete with these prices. This would, in turn, allow the giant book publishers to continue to own the e-book market.
The current investigation is also looking at claims of anti-competitive practices. The investigation started back on 2019 when subpoenas were issued to Amazon and their partner publishers. These subpoenas demanded copies of agreements between the companies regarding their sale of e-books.
A non-profit agency called “Tech Transparency Project” is now conducting their own investigation. They received copies of these documents under the open records act. They are now looking to see if these companies did engage in anti-competitive behavior.
Amazon is one of the largest e-book sellers in the world. They have similar agreements with most leading publishing companies. If there are anti-competitive practices taking place, the Attorney General will likely disclose it. The question is, what will this mean for the e-book business in general? The 2012 investigation didn’t seem to change the way these companies do business.
Amazon declined to comment on the current investigation. There has also been no comment from any of the large publishing companies.
If you feel that you’ve being taken advantage of by this sort of behavior, you have options. You can reach out to our office to see if you have a potential legal claim for damages.