Posted on September 13, 2021 at 2:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Amazon and the Big Five publishers are asking a judge to dismiss a potential class-action price-fixing claim filed against them.

Publishers Weekly reports that Amazon and the Big Five — comprising Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins, Simon and Schuster, and Macmillan — each filed a separate motion to dismiss the suit, saying that there was no conspiracy to fix prices and that the suit’s arguments are legally deficient.

This lawsuit came about in March 2021, when Evanston, Ill.-based bookseller Bookends & Beginnings partnered with a law firm already pursuing legal action against Amazon and the Big Five.

Some US lawmakers also have a critical eye on Amazon, though for a different reason.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, both Democrats, each sent Amazon’s CEO a letter asking for information about the company’s policies on and strategies to combat misinformation, reports the Guardian.

Warren’s letter specifically raised concerns that the top result for a search for COVID-19 was a book from Joseph Mercola, a prominent disseminator of debunked claims about vaccines.

Schiff’s, meanwhile, raised concerns that Amazon was profiting off the sale of anti-vaccine material, which in turn contributes to preventable COVID deaths.

Amazon issued a statement to NPR, which reported on the letters earlier, saying: “We are constantly evaluating the books we list to ensure they comply with our content guidelines, and as an additional service to customers, at the top of relevant search results pages we link to the CDC advice on COVID and protection measures.”

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Categories: Today in Books

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