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German govt backs authors in spat with Amazon

Wednesday - 8/20/2014, 2:30pm  ET

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's top culture official has voiced support for hundreds of authors who claim they're being discriminated against by online retailer Amazon amid negotiations with their publisher.

A letter signed by over 1,000 German-language writers criticized Amazon's behavior in a dispute with publisher Bonnier, saying deliveries of books by authors with the publisher have been slowed and that authors with Bonnier are missing from recommendation lists as a result of manipulation.

Amazon said Bonnier makes it significantly more expensive for it to buy e-books than printed editions though e-books don't carry printing and transport costs. It didn't address the issue of alleged discrimination.

Culture minister Monika Gruetters backed the authors Wednesday, saying that "Amazon's dispute with publishers must not be conducted on the backs of authors."

Bonnier had no immediate comment.


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