The stores charge that secret agreements made between the publishers and Amazon give Amazon the advantage in selling e-books, but some industry observers find flaws in their logic.
Three independent bookstores are suing online bookseller behemoth Amazon and the publishers known as the Big Six, claiming that the group has created a monopoly in the sale of e-books.
Fiction Addiction, a store based in Greenville, S.C.; Posman Books, a New York City store which has three locations; and Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza of Albany, N.Y., filed the class action lawsuit.
The stores that filed the suit say that they represent “all independent brick-and-mortar bookstores who sell e-books."
The root of the complaint centers on digital rights management, which makes it difficult for a reader to switch an e-book from one e-reading device to another – for example, to move a book from a Kindle, the Amazon e-reader, to a Kobo, the one sold by indie bookstores.
The indie bookstores are saying that’s hurting their business.