European Commission Now Investigating Amazon’s “Dominance” of the Print Market

13590925344_91ed988e2a_oWhen it rains, it pours.

About four months ago the European Commission revealed that it had launched an investigation into Amazon's dealings in the EU's ebook market. That investigation is still ongoing, and today we've learned that it has been expanded.

According to The Bookseller:

The European Commission is assessing a complaint about Amazon’s dominance of the print market in addition to its investigation into the company’s activity in the e-book market.


In response to an enquiry from The Bookseller, an EC spokesperson confirmed it had received a complaint about Amazon’s print book practices as well. "The EC has received a complaint on the issue and is assessing it," a spokesperson said.

It is not yet clear whether the EC will launch an investigation into the e-commerce giant’s print book business as well.

There's no way to tell from the outside whether there is any validity to the complaint, and of course opinion will be divided on the matter.

Those who see Amazon as evil incarnate will assume the worst, while those who are hoping to get an invite to Bezos' next infant barbeque will disagree.

This is of course only the latest complaint made against Amazon. In August German publishers asked their government to investigate Amazon's audiobook subsidiary, and last year several trade groups complained to their governments during a period of heated negotiations between Amazon and publishers.

Will the EC decide there's legal ground to investigate Amazon for its dealing in the EU's print market, or will they decide that this complaint is as ridiculous as the letter that Authors United sent to the DoJ in August of this year?

Only time will tell.

image by jasonkeath

About Nate Hoffelder (11462 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

5 Comments on European Commission Now Investigating Amazon’s “Dominance” of the Print Market

  1. They could save a lot of time and money by simply passing a law forbidding Amazon from doing business in Europe. At least that would be honest.

  2. Between the VAT on ebooks, VATMOSS, safe harbour and a host of other complications imposed by the EU itself I hardly feel they have any right to judge anyone really!

  3. I’d have to agree with Nate. The loss of the Safe Harbor was caused by an flagrant disregard for European privacy laws by the NSA et al and has caused an immense backlash in European countries which is only going to get worse and will likely create more barriers. Most Europeans also support VAT on ebooks as otherwise American companies get a commercial advantage over European ones. The VATMOSS however is a particularly spectacular own goal.

    • Of course, the really fun part about VATmess is how many sellers outside the EU only just now learned that they should already have been collecting and remitting VAT for all EU customers.

      That rule went into effect over a decade ago, but only the largest retailers were paying attention.

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