German authors protest to Amazon over e-book price war

Aug 18, 2014
More than 1,000 German-language writers have signed a petition protesting against the methods used by online retailer Amazon in its e-book price battle with Scandinavian publishing house Bonnier

More than 1,000 German-language writers have signed a petition protesting against the methods used by online retailer Amazon in its e-book price battle with Scandinavian publishing house Bonnier.

Taking their cue from US involved in a similar protest over Amazon's e-book dispute with Hachette, nearly 1,200 signed an open letter in which they accused Amazon of "taking writers hostage" in its pricing battle.

"In the past few months, Bonnier authors are being boycotted and their books no longer held in stock," said the letter, which was signed by, among others, Austrian Nobel literature prize laureate Elfriede Jelinek and the head of the German PEN writers' association, Regula Venske.

"The delivery of the books is being subjected to a go-slow; false information is given about their availability; and the authors' names no longer appear on Amazon's recommended lists," the letter complained.

"Amazon has no right to take hostage authors who are not directly involved in the conflict," it said.

Neither Bonnier nor Amazon have commented publicly on their pricing dispute.

Bonnier is a major player in German publishing, with a stable of houses including such as Ullstein, Carlsen and Piper.

The authors asked readers to write directly to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos or the head of Amazon Germany, Ralf Kleber, "to make their views known about the latest blackmailing methods" employed by the online retail giant.

At the end of June, Germany's book industry filed a complaint to the country's competition watchdog about Amazon's use of "blackmail" to gain discounts from publishers.

Explore further: German publishers file complaint against Amazon

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

German publishers file complaint against Amazon

Jun 24, 2014

Germany's book industry said Tuesday it had complained to the country's competition watchdog about Internet giant Amazon, accusing it of using "blackmail" to gain discounts from publishers.

Recommended for you

Sony's quarterly loss balloons on mobile woes

13 hours ago

Sony's losses ballooned to 136 billion yen ($1.2 billion) last quarter as the Japanese electronics and entertainment company's troubled mobile phone division reported huge red ink.

Will Apple Pay be mobile pay's kick-start?

21 hours ago

If anyone can get us to use our smartphones as wallets, it's Apple. That's what experts think about the recent launch of Apple Pay, the first mobile wallet to work on an iPhone.

Google execs discuss regulation, innovation and bobble-heads

23 hours ago

Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg help run Google, one of the world's best-known, most successful - and most controversial - companies. They've just published a new book, "How Google Works," a guide to managing what they ...

LinkedIn reports 3Q loss but sales climb

23 hours ago

LinkedIn Corp. posted a third-quarter loss on Thursday, but its results were better than expected as revenue grew sharply, sending shares of the online professional networking service higher in extended trading.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.