Amazon, NACS Settle Suit; EDC Drops Amazon
Amazon.com and the National Association of College Stores have settled the lawsuit filed last year by Amazon against NACS after the association had lodged a complaint with the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division about Amazon advertising. At issue were Amazon ads stating that through Amazon, college students could save "up to 60%" on new textbooks, save "up to 90%" on used textbooks and receive "up to 60%" on buy-back sales. (The NAD complaint was superseded by the lawsuit.)
Under the settlement, Amazon shared with NACS attorneys the methodology for its savings claims. NACS noted, "While not endorsing the substantiation methodology or the results obtained, NACS agreed that it was sufficient to determine that there is no current dispute about the advertising that NACS had questioned in its NAD complaint." No money is being exchanged, and NACS and Amazon agreed not to challenge each other about substantially similar claims for at least one year.
NACS said the settlement "avoids the need for protracted and expensive litigation about price comparisons used by Amazon in 2011." The association added that the case was important because it "brought to the forefront once again the need for all retailers, whether physical stores or on-line sellers, the need to substantiate the claims that they make in their advertising."
In other Amazon news, Educational Development Corporation, which publishes Usborne and Kane Miller books in the U.S., is no longer selling any books on Amazon or to any entities that resell to Amazon. Three years ago, the company had stopped selling Kane Miller titles on Amazon. EDC has some 1,500 titles altogether.
Citing in part Amazon's decision to drop e-books published by Independent Publishers Group publishers, EDC president Randall White said the move is a response to Amazon efforts to "gain control of publishing and other industries by making it impossible for other retailers to compete effectively."
White called the change "a way to demonstrate our support of the local booksellers, museum shops, gift stores, and others who sell our books to consumers. We also have an incredibly devoted direct sales force of independent sales consultants who make their living selling our books at home parties, to schools and libraries and via the Internet."