From Paid Content:
Three independent bookstores have filed a class action suit against Amazon and all of the big-six publishers, alleging that the proprietary DRM Amazon uses on ebooks, and the publisher contracts that allow this DRM, create a monopoly. The indies, represented by Los Angeles antitrust firm Blecher & Collins, argue that the contracts restrain ebook sales and that Amazon “has unlawfully monopolized or attempted to monopolize the market for ebooks in the United States” through its proprietary DRM.
The case was filed in New York’s Southern District court (which also oversaw the Department of Justice’s antitrust suit on ebook pricing) on February 15.
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The filing cites estimated market share for Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Apple’s iBookstore as evidence that Amazon has a “dominant position” in the ebook market. The estimations cited are generally accepted in the publishing industry — over 60 percent for Amazon’s Kindle e-readers, around 25 percent for Nook and under 10 percent for the iBookstore (though some believe that Apple’s market share has grown ). The filing says Nook is Kindle’s “only substantial competition” but, in reference to recent news and earnings reports, notes Barnes & Noble is “experiencing financial difficulties and will be downsizing by closing a significant portion of their brick-and-mortar bookstores.” The filing doesn’t mention Kobo.
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[T]he filing takes issue with Amazon’s proprietary DRM, AZW: “Ebooks with the AZW DRM can only be read on a Kindle device or on another device enabled with a Kindle application…the Kindle app works solely with ebooks sold by Amazon.” While the case mentions big-six publishers, Amazon includes DRM on nearly all of its ebooks from all publishers.
Link to the rest at Paid Content