Amazon Loses Round 1 of Print-On Demand Book Lawsuit

Jim Hamilton
Sep 2, 2009

On August 29th the U.S. District Court in Maine ruled on a motion to dismiss a class action suit brought by BookLocker.com against Amazon.com. BookLocker’s suit claims that Amazon violated federal anti-trust law by tying its own on-line book services with the printing services provided by BookSurge, its wholly owned subsidiary. Amazon had moved to dismiss BookLocker’s suit, but it will move forward except for one motion in its filing. This motion relates to an order “requiring full restitution of all funds acquired from Amazon’s unfair business practices, including disgorgement of revenues and/or profits.” Other parts of the motion that were allowed to move forward include “injunctive relief…enjoining Amazon from continuing or engaging in the unfair and anti-competitive activities”; “damages, penalties, and other monetary relief provided by the Clayton Act…including treble damages”; and the ability of the plaintiff to recover the costs of the lawsuit.

For additional details on the story, see Eric Engleman’s Amazon blog (which draws on materials from Publisher’s Weekly). Engleman’s blog provides the links to the actual court documents, which are quite interesting reading, once you get past the legalese. For background on Amazon’s BookSurge announcement, please refer to the InfoTrends analysis entitled “New Amazon.com Strategy Changes Print-On-Demand Book Landscape,” which is accessible to InfoTrends clients via our password-protected web site. If you are not an InfoTrends client and would like to see this analysis, please leave me a comment and I will send you the PDF.

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