Amazon To Challenge Google Books Settlement

Amazon has become the latest company to join the chorus against Google’s ambitious $125 million deal for the right to digitise millions of book titles from various authors, claiming that the settlement is violating the antitrust laws.

The online retailing company, which has its own project of scanning books, has filed an official objection with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, urging it to stop the proposed settlement in the wake of violation of copyright rules and concerns related to competition.

The deal would have seen Google pay $125 million to the Authors Guild and the Association of American publishers to build a huge repository of digitised books, where authors and publishers can submit their works and have a set proportion of the revenues earned from ads, sales and subscriptions.

In the filed complaint, Amazon argued: “[The settlement] provides Google an effective monopoly in the scanning and exploitation of millions of works whose copyright holders cannot be located or choose not to involve themselves in this class action”.

It further went on to say that the deal would create a “cartel of authors and publishers - the Books Rights Registry” functioning with no apparent restrictions on its actions, allowing them to hike the book prices as well as affect output to the detriment of readers and the authors or publishers trying to compete with the cartel members.

Our Comments

What a coincidence that Google announced the partnership with Cool-er just as Amazon filed the complaint. Google seems to be having its own hidden agenda when it comes to content as it brokered a deal in the UK with the PRS for music which will see Google pay a lump sum to artists.

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