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Amazon Faces Investigations In Connecticut Over Anti-Competitive Practices In E-books Business

Amazon Faces Investigations In Connecticut Over Anti-Competitive Practices In E-books Business

The anti-competition investigations against Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) have now spilled over into its e-books business in Connecticut, according to the Wall Street Journal. Reportedly, a similar investigation is also underway in California.

What Happened: The Journal cited Connecticut’s Attorney General William Tong, saying Amazon’s agreement with publishers is under probe for anticompetitive behavior. “Our office continues to aggressively monitor this market to protect fair competition for consumers, authors, and other e-book retailers,” Tong said.

Reportedly, the Connecticut authorities have sought access to documents pertaining to five of the significant publishers in the U.S, based on a subpoena filed in 2019. The Tech Transparency Project — a nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog organization, was the first to secure this subpoena.

Why Does It Matter: With a 76% share of e-book sales in September — based on the research by Codex Group LLC, and a dedicated Kindle business for e-book readers, Amazon is a key player in this segment.

The five publishers named in the subpoena include News Corp’s (NASDAQ: NWSA) HarperCollins Publishers, Hachette Book Group — a wholly-owned subsidiary of the French media company Lagardere SCA (OTC: LGDDF), Bertelsmann SE’s Penguin Random House, ViacomCBS Inc’s (NASDAQ: VIAC) (NASDAQ: VIACA) publishing division Simon & Schuster and Macmillan Publishers, as per the Journal.

Before the ongoing investigation against Amazon, Connecticut pursued a similar stand against Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) e-book business. At the time, a civil antitrust lawsuit was filed against five publishers and Apple, WSJ noted.

Price Action: AMZN stock closed 1.44% higher at $3,165.89 Wednesday.

Related News: Amazon To Face EU Antitrust Charges: Report


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