Booksellers Urged to Use Antitrust Action Kit to Contact Lawmakers

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    The American Booksellers Association’s Antitrust Action Kit, which launched in March 2016, provides booksellers with state-specific letters urging their members of Congress, attorney general, state lawmakers, and governor to investigate Amazon for violations of antitrust laws. Booksellers who have not yet used the kit’s templates to ask lawmakers to examine Amazon’s business model are encouraged to do so now.

    Booksellers who have already written to their lawmakers are asked to share copies of their letters — and any replies — with ABA Senior Public Policy Analyst David Grogan.

    “It is critical that every ABA bookstore member reach out to federal and state lawmakers, urging them to investigate Amazon for antitrust law violations,” said Grogan. “The Antitrust Action Kit was created to make it as easy as possible for booksellers to reach out to government officials. Booksellers who believe that Amazon is abusing its power must make their voices heard on this issue if they expect lawmakers to respond with an investigation. It will not happen without their involvement.”

    The template letters provide parallels between Amazon’s business model and corporations that were charged with antitrust violations in the past. For instance, Amazon has as large a market share in the entire book business as Standard Oil did in the oil products industry in 1911.

    In addition, the letters cite state-specific data from the Civic Economics study “Amazon and Empty Storefronts,” which provides key information on jobs and state revenue losses as a result of the company’s growth. In 43 of the 50 states, Amazon’s business practices have resulted in retail job losses.

    Booksellers with questions regarding the Antitrust Action Kit, or any other advocacy matter, should contact Grogan via e-mail or at (800) 637-0037, ext. 7562.