It’s only worth $1.5 million in annual sales, but it’s a big deal for the Educational Development Foundation or EDC when it decided to withdraw its 1,800 children’s book titles from online retailing giant Amazon in a protest over book pricing.
The New York Times Monday reported that EDC‘s chief executive Randall White formally announced the withdrawal from Amazon’s virtual bookshelves which actually began last February, saying that the online retailer was a predator and was squeezing everyone out of business.
The publisher said Amazon was purchasing EDC’s children’s books from a distributor and selling them online at huge discounts, substantially underselling EDC, which acquits the books from publishers in the UK and sells them to stores in the US. The huge Amazon discounts were reportedly creating trouble with non-online retailers who sell the children’s items from their homes.
Earlier, the US Justice Department sued five major publishers and Apple Inc. on price-fixing charges. Three have settled with the government, but one other publisher and Apple said they were continuing the fight.
The government had charged that the five publishers and Apple entered into an illegal agreement that allegedly resulted in selling e-books so cheaply that could prove ruinous to other book retailers as well as the original book publishers themselves.
Critics of the online retailer charged that its e-book pricing scheme may eventually result in a monopoly that would eventually destroy the book publishing culture.
Amazon has not commented on the criticisms, but had said earlier that they are passing the savings to consumers by eliminating middlemen.