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How to end Amazon’s “tricky” monopoly on books

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Booksellers and authors in the United States have united to request an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into Amazon’s purported monopolistic control over the book industry.

This call for action comes as Amazon faces an imminent antitrust lawsuit, adding to the mounting pressure on the e-commerce behemoth.

In a letter signed by critics of Amazon, including the American Booksellers Association, the Authors Guild, and the antitrust nonprofit Open Markets Institute, concerns are raised about the company’s practices that are alleged to have enabled it to establish an iron grip on book sales and exert undue influence over the promotion and demotion of book titles.

The letter argues that the FTC should delve into how Amazon has leveraged “unfair methods of competition” to gain dominance in the book market.

This appeal coincides with reports that Amazon executives are scheduled to meet with FTC officials in what is colloquially termed a “last rites” meeting – a meeting seen as the final step before a formal federal antitrust action is taken against Amazon’s vast online retail operation.

Amazon’s tricks

Critics point out that Amazon’s algorithms and practices give the company an extensive control over what readers see when they browse for books.

The letter, addressed to Lina Khan, the FTC chair, and Jonathan Kanter, the Justice Department’s antitrust chief, highlights Amazon’s market position, drawing parallels to the monopolistic practices of railroads in the 19th century.

It notes that Amazon, much like railroads of the past, holds significant sway in the book market, influencing which products reach consumers.

The letter also highlights Amazon’s substantial sales dominance within the US publishing industry. Amazon is said to account for over 50% of all physical books sold in the retail marketplace, as well as more than 90% of physical books sold online and over 80% of e-books.

Strong-arm tactics

Accusations in the letter range from claims of Amazon using strong-arm tactics to enforce onerous contract terms on traditional publishers to allegedly promoting its own listings and pricing over others.

The authors of the letter point out that the number of brick-and-mortar bookstores in the US has dwindled significantly over the years, falling from approximately 12,000 in 1998 to just over 6,000 in 2019.

Amazon’s response to these allegations remains to be seen. The implications of a potential FTC or DOJ lawsuit targeting Amazon’s operations are still unclear.

Reports from June indicated that the FTC was preparing a comprehensive antitrust suit focused on Amazon’s core online marketplace.

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Leaders

Health experts are walking the nutritional path to a stronger immune system

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Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining a robust immune system and mitigating chronic inflammation.

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, but when it becomes chronic, it can lead to serious health issues.

Kate Save from BeFitFood joins to discuss the relationship between #featured

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Money

Nvidia surpasses Microsoft as the most valuable company in the world

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Nvidia has emerged as the world’s most valuable company, surpassing Microsoft with a market value of over $3.3 trillion.

This shift comes on the heels of Nvidia’s consistent growth in the semiconductor sector and its strategic advancements in artificial intelligence and gaming technologies.

This milestone marks a significant validation of Nvidia’s aggressive expansion and innovation strategies under CEO Jensen Huang, who has steered the company towards dominance in high-performance computing.

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Nintendo’s latest presentation showcased exciting revivals and fresh new titles for Q4

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Nintendo’s exciting 2024 lineup revealed following June Direct: revivals, new titles, and fresh takes.

From enhanced classics like Donkey Kong Country Returns HD to highly anticipated new entries such as Metroid Prime 4, Nintendo’s 2024 releases promise something for every gamer.

Emily Leaney from TeamRetro joins to unpack all the big announcements.

Follow the link here for the full presentation on Nintendo’s official YouTube channel.

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