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Will Amazon soon speak for small German booksellers?

"Discussions have been initiated with Amazon about membership in the German Book Trade Association.

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Will Amazon soon speak for small German booksellers?

"Discussions have been initiated with Amazon about membership in the German Book Trade Association." It's just a rumour. The trade magazine "Buchmarkt", where the uncomfortable topics that affect the book trade always come first, paints a scenario on the wall that shakes the industry - must shake it. The online giant, pioneer of global platform capitalism and flattener of the independent book trade in many countries worldwide, is approaching the association structures of an industry that is still very medium-sized in Germany? The stock exchange association, which has been responsible for this industry since 1825, hastened to deny it in the comment section on "Amazon membership in the stock exchange association of the German book trade is not an option."

Nevertheless, the impossible no longer seems impossible. For years there has been criticism that the industry association pays too little attention to the majority of its members - the small and independent ones. Instead, big ones like Thalia and Amazon, both of which act as book retailers, although they deal with quasi-logistical quantities, get better conditions than anyone else - keyword spread of conditions - and benefit from the right of return.

Is Amazon even a real bookseller worthy of the name? As you can read in every Jeff Bezos biography, the whole Amazon story began with the shipping of books. Whether the business idea of ​​sending each individual book, in case of doubt individually packaged, to end customers instead of to dealers ever covered its costs - nobody knows, Amazon has officially made losses for years, earning its money with cloud computing and other things. During the first phase of the corona pandemic, book orders were ignored and toilet paper was delivered instead. If the mail-order company, which happens to also deal in books, were to officially have a say in the association policy of the German book industry as a member, the local fixed book prices, which do not exist in many other countries in which Amazon is active, would soon be just waste.

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