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German authors protest Amazon tactics in Bonnier dispute; Amazon responds

Close to 1200 writers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland have signed an open letter protesting Amazon’s tactics in its trading dispute with the Bonnier Group, reports the Bookseller. The authors have accused Amazon of not stocking or delaying shipments of books published by Bonnier in order to force the publisher to agree to new terms. While the authors said they do not wish to take sides in the dispute, they have called on Amazon to stop holding authors ‘hostage’, and have encouraged readers to write their own protest letters to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the head of Amazon Germany Ralf Kleber. Amazon’s German division has responded to the letter, describing Bonnier’s ebook terms as ‘out of step with other major German publishers’. ‘For the majority of their titles, Bonnier have chosen to set terms that make it significantly more expensive for us to buy a digital edition than it is to buy the print edition of the same title,’ said Amazon.de. ‘Ebooks can and should be less expensive than print books, and this should be reflected in the terms under which booksellers buy their books from publishers.’ The company said it was ‘working diligently with Bonnier to reach a new agreement more in line with typical industry terms in Germany’.

 

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