Amazon/Booksurge – Washington State Attorney General’s Response

Kristin Alexander, Seattle Media Relations Manager, has responded to Angela Hoy of Writersweekly regarding the current issue with Amazon/Booksurge. This appears to be the first formal response regarding the questions raised by authors and POD publishers in relation to the legalities/anti-trust laws in the United States. From the enclosed communication to Angela Hoy, the Attorney General’s office seem keen to hear directly from POD publishers and authors affected by the situation.

Here is the communication in full to Angela and Richard.

The Washington Attorney General’s Antitrust Division has received
several inquiries and concerns regarding the new “print on demand” or
“POD” policy recently implemented by Individuals who have
contacted our office claim that Amazon is engaging in “monopolistic
practices.” I wanted to take this opportunity to update you and your
readers of our office’s work regarding this issue.

As with all complaints regarding a business, we have advised
of these concerns and have asked the company to respond to us. In the
meantime, the Antitrust Division is conducting an initial review of the
marketplace and will respond more fully once that review is complete.

In order for the Attorney General’s Office or another enforcement agency
to take action on an antitrust law violation, a court must be convinced
that a company has attempted to monopolize a relevant market or is
attempting to exclude others from a market it has already monopolized.
The relevant market is judged not only in terms of what products are in
question, but the geographic service area in which competitors compete.

If it is determined that the markets involved are national in scope, it
may be more appropriate to refer this matter to one of the federal
antitrust agencies for review.

Additional Resources:
* Consumer tips can help enforcement agencies identify unethical
and suspicious corporate behavior when it occurs. Individuals who have
unique information about the market that they would like to share are
invited to complete a complaint form and submit it to the Antitrust
Division. The complaint form can be found online at
* issued a letter to the publishing industry concerning
its new policy on March 31, 2008. The letter is posted here
> > .

You may wish to direct your readers to our Web site at where this information is currently

Kindest regards,

Kristin Alexander
Seattle Media Relations Manager
Washington State Attorney General’s Office


One Comment;

  1. Anonymous said:

    The fact that the Washington State Attorney General is now looking into this matter has made it a story the Seattle media should be covering. Here’s contact information for them. Send them links to where the story has been covered elsewhere in the press.

    Below are all the relevant editors and reporters at the Seattle Times, the city’s largest paper. Keep in mind that the paper just announced 300 layoffs, so be polite. Some of these people may be leaving.

    Michael Fancher Editor at Large, (206) 464-3310

    David Boardman Executive Editor (206) 464-2205

    Kathy Best Managing Editor, Digital News and Innovation (206) 464-3337

    Suki Dardarian Managing Editor, News Coverage and Enterprise (206) 464-2791

    Carole Carmichael Assistant Managing Editor, Features (206) 464-3116

    Becky Bisbee Business Editor (206) 464-8552

    Mark Watanabe Technology Editor (206) 464-2265

    Rami Grunbaum Deputy Business editor (206) 464-8541

    Suzanne LaViolette News Editor (206) 464-2589

    Drew DeSilver Reporter – Public companies/economy/jobs (206) 464-3145

    Brier Dudley Senior technology writer/columnist (206) 515-5687

    Amy Martinez Reporter – Retail goods and services/e-commerce (206) 464-2923

    Seattle’s other daily is the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Here are some contacts there.

    Chris Grygie Assigning Editor – Politics, 206-448-8363

    Tracy Johnson Reporter (Court and Legal) 206-467-5942

    Lewis Kamb Investigative Reporter 206-448-8336

    Local TV stations with newscasts include:

    KIRO (CBS) (Anchors and Reporters on the left side)

    KING (NBC) (Send Us a Story and newstips on the right)

    KCPQ (FOX)

    KOMO (ABC)

    Local Radio:

    KIRO-Radio could have have phone interviews of writers and pod publishers in a talk show and try to get someone at Amazon to talk. Contact information at: