As Melville House's Dennis Johnson blogged about, the Independent Online Booksellers’ Association is confronting Amazon across the Atlantic. The organization sent a letter on June 1 to various European government offices about what it perceives to be parity pricing pressure from Amazon.uk. In the letter, the IOBA says Amazon is forcing independent booksellers "to set prices on Amazon’s UK, French and German websites equal to or lower than on any other sites which sellers use to sell their books." The organization goes on to note that it feels the e-tailer's request "to be an anti-competitive measure...designed to undermine smaller competitor websites and even independent booksellers’ own websites."
The IOBA, which claims some 250 members internationally, says the cost booksellers incur selling their titles via Amazon is often higher than doing so on other aggregator sites, or through the indie retailers' own sites. Now, with the e-tailer's new policy demanding booksellers price their titles on Amazon as low as or lower than the price of their books elsewhere, the IOBA says the e-tailer is effectively damaging the viability of small, competitor sites. The IOBA said the Amazon policy will "likely to be bad for book-buyers...and is likely to be particularly damaging to smaller, cheaper aggregator site competitors to Amazon’s market dominance."