has agreed a settlement in the lawsuit filed against them by Booklocker.com
in 2008. The lawsuit was taken against Amazon by Booklocker.com following the giant e-retailer’s strong-armed attempt to force publishers using POD printers for their book lists to switch to paying Amazon’s own POD printer, Booksurge
(now subsumed into Amazon’s CreateSpace
). Booklocker.com took the lawsuit against Amazon claiming the e-retailer’s actions violated federal antitrust laws in the United States.
In the spring of 2008 POD publishers began to receive contact from representatives of Amazon informing them of an imminent deadline and the need for publishers to switch their print output over to Booksurge – Amazon’s own in-house POD operation. Publishers protested and did not agree to Amazon’s terms and they began to discover their online ‘buy buttons’ disappearing from their catalogue on Amazon.com. Though some large POD publishers did sign up to the Amazon agreement, many refused and a vociferous and lengthy outcry began over many months, with both authors and publishers alike boycotting the e-retailer.
Amazon filed a motion to dismiss Booklocker.com’s lawsuit which was denied in August 2009 by Chief U.S. District Judge John Woodcock Jr. Angela Hoy, owner of Booklocker.com revealed today that representative lawyers for both parties had spent the past two months negotiating a settlement.
“We specified initially that any cash offered to BookLocker by Amazon would go directly to a charity and we wanted that statement included in the settlement. Amazon refused to allow the charity wording to appear in there… We subsequently refused any cash payment from Amazon. We then included a statement in the settlement that BookLocker declined a cash settlement from Amazon…and Amazon insisted on removing that verbiage, too.
We didn’t do this for the money. We did it to make Amazon understand that covert efforts aimed at forcing POD publishers to pay Amazon / BookSurge (now Createspace) to print their books is not the way responsible corporate citizens should act. By getting Amazon to rescind their pay-us-to-print-your-books-or-else policy, we believe BookLocker’s lawsuit achieved its goal.
We want to publicly express our deepest gratitude to Seth Klein, Bob Izard, and all the caring folks at Izard Nobel LLP, and to Anthony Pellegrini and the team at Rudman & Winchell. Without them, we and all POD publishers might be in a completely different position today.”
The full legal details of the official settlement can be read here.