German culture minister backs authors against Amazon

Aug 20, 2014
A German minister throws her weight behind the authors battling US online retail giant Amazon over its alleged strong-arm negotiating tactics with publishers

A German minister on Wednesday threw her weight behind the authors battling US online retail giant Amazon over its alleged strong-arm negotiating tactics with publishers.

"Market power and domination over central distribution channels should not endanger our ," said state minister for culture and media Monika Gruetters.

Her statement "welcomes and supports" a campaign by authors, some of whom have been caught in the cross-fire as Amazon re-negotiates its deals with publishers.

German-language authors have accused Amazon of delaying the release of books and boycotting authors signed to publishing houses in dispute with the US company.

"If titles are removed from recommendation lists and deliveries are delayed to enforce discount demands from publishers, this is totally unacceptable," Gruetters said, stressing that books are both "economic goods" and "cultural property".

More than 1,000 German-language writers have signed a petition protesting against Amazon's methods in its e-book price battle with Scandinavian publishing house Bonnier, a major player in German publishing.

Earlier US writers had protested over Amazon's dispute with publishing conglomerate Hachette which represents including JK Rowling, Malcolm Gladwell and James Patterson, accusing the company of "taking writers hostage" in its e-books pricing battle.

Gruetters said that "literature, books, houses ... are a foundation of our cultural life".

"They must not be subject purely to market principles. Dealing appropriately with these values ​​also has an ethical dimension. This applies to all players—including Amazon."

Explore further: German authors protest to Amazon over e-book price war

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

Japan's NTT to buy German data centre operator

21 hours ago

Japanese telecom giant NTT Communications is looking to acquire German data centre operator e-shelter, as it seeks to cash in on growing demand in Europe, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Google hits back at rivals with futuristic HQ plan

Feb 27, 2015

Google unveiled plans Friday for a new campus headquarters integrating wildlife and sweeping waterways, aiming to make a big statement in Silicon Valley—which is already seeing ambitious projects from Apple ...

Ericsson sues Apple over patent violations

Feb 27, 2015

Swedish telecoms group Ericsson announced Friday a lawsuit against Apple claiming that the US tech giant continued to use its technology in iPhones and other wireless devices after refusing to renew a licencing ...

Stock market shrugs off net neutrality vote

Feb 27, 2015

(AP)—The stock market largely shrugged off the Federal Communications Commission's vote to impose tougher rules on broadband providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T to prevent them from creating paid fast lanes for the ...

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.