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ALA delivers report on unfair behaviour in the digital market to House Judiciary Committee

In the US, the American Library Association (ALA) has delivered a report on ‘unfair behaviour by digital market actors’ to the House Judiciary Committee, reports Publishers Weekly.

According to the report, which was delivered to the House antitrust subcommittee investigating competition in the digital market, companies including Amazon and major publishers were doing ‘concrete harm to libraries’.

It comes amid growing backlash to Macmillan’s decision to put new release ebooks in public libraries under a two-month embargo. The ALA was invited to respond to a set of question by the House Judiciary Committee as part of its ongoing investigation.

The ALA’s two biggest concerns are Amazon’s exclusive digital content and major publishers restricting libraries’ access to the ebook market. ‘The worst obstacle for libraries are marketplace bans: refusal to sell services at any price,’ the report reads. ‘The ebook titles from Amazon Publishing are not available to libraries for lending at any price or any terms. By contrast, consumers may purchase all of these titles directly from Amazon. This is a particularly pernicious new form of the digital divide; Amazon Publishing books are available only to people who can afford to buy them, without the library alternative previously available to generations of Americans.’


Category: Library news International