Authors Guild Condemns DOJ Price-Fixing Settlement
The complete statement is after the break. Following that is an explanation of why I don’t like Mr. Turow.
The proposed settlement is a shocking trip through the looking-glass. By allowing Amazon to resume selling most titles at a loss, the Department of Justice will basically prevent traditional bookstores from trying to enter the e-book market, at the same time it drives trade out of those stores and into the proprietary world of the Kindle. The settlement provides a gigantic obstacle to Amazon’s competitors in the e-book business by allowing Amazon to function without making a profit, something that leaves that market forbidding to anyone else who might think of entering, and a bad business for those already there.
Today’s low Kindle book prices will last only as long as it takes Amazon to re-establish its monopoly. It is hard to believe that the Justice Department has somehow persuaded itself that this solution fosters competition or is good for readers in the long run.
I have spoken derisively of Mr. Turow before, and that is because I feel he serves the interest of the legacy publishers. I do not believe that he acts in the interest of his constituency, authors.
If he did then he would be forced to acknowledge the good things Amazon has done for authors. Those authors might not be members of his organization but they are authors. You’d think he would be happy about that.
But you wouldn’t be able to tell that based on his recent actions. For example, the entirety of his position on the anti-trust issue has been one which supported the accused legacy publishers. His position has never taken in to account what Amazon has done to enable a vast number of authors to publish for the first time. I feel that at a minimum he should have taken a nuanced position and not embraced one side.
Am I wrong?