My Letter to the Dept. of Justice in the Agency Model Ebook Case

With Monday June 25 as the last day for public comment in the Agency Model and ebook pricing case now before the DOJ I submitted a comment today. This is what I sent in an email to John Read at the Dept. of Justice:

June 23, 2012

Mr. John Read
United States Department of Justice
Washington, D.C.

Dear John Read,

I believe a competitive book market for authors, publishers, and readers is essential to the cultural and commercial well-being of our country. Because of the public good that a competitive marketplace conveys, I urge you to turn away from any course of action in this matter that would have the perverse effect of boosting Amazon.com and permitting them to continue predatory conduct that they have shown a predilection to practice.

While I know that the government’s investigation has been about allegedly improper conduct on the part of some publishers, I hope you can find a remedy here that does not deliver a new competitive advantage for Amazon.com, one that, given current trends, could surely lead to a less healthy, less competitive book and publishing marketplace, one that would over time lead to fewer titles coming from publishers; less income for creators; and less choice for consumers.

I write with respect for the difficulties you and your office must face in dealing with this matter. But as a longtime retail bookseller, editor and publisher, I know that our industry is balanced on a perilous edge where your decision could lead to a more competitive and fairer book marketplace, or when where a very few players dominate the commercial and cultural space. I hope you will not let that occur.

Sincerely, Philip Turner
Philip Turner Book Productions
New York, NY
www.philipsturner.com

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