BTW News Briefs

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    Apple Calls DOJ Case “Fundamentally Flawed”

    In a filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan this week, Apple said it has not colluded with publishers to fix e-book prices and called the Department of Justice lawsuit a “fundamentally flawed” endeavor that could discourage competition and harm consumers, as reported by Reuters.

    In court papers, Apple said its “entry into e-book distribution is classic procompetitive conduct,” which created competition where none existed. “For Apple to be subject to hindsight legal attack for a business strategy well-recognized as perfectly proper sends the wrong message to the market,” the company said. “The government’s complaint against Apple is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law.”

    NRF Launches 60-Day Sales Tax Fairness Campaign

    On Tuesday, May 22, the National Retail Federation (NRF) launched a nationwide 60-day campaign to raise awareness among lawmakers and the public on how a loophole exempting online sales from sales tax is hurting local communities and job creation.

    The campaign aims to “engage and mobilize the retail industry in support of a national solution so every retailer – regardless of whether they sell their merchandise online, through the mail or in a store on Main Street – can compete on a level playing field,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

    NRF’s campaign includes events,  an online petition, a series of videos, targeted print and online advertising, grassroots mobilization, aggressive media outreach, and social media engagement.

    The U.K.’s Waterstones to Sell Kindles

    British bookseller Waterstones announced on Monday that it will soon begin selling Amazon’s Kindles in its stores.

    The Los Angeles Times blog Jacket Copy noted that reactions to the announcement “were swift and strong.” At the Guardian, Richard Lea said Waterstones’ Chief Executive James Daunt was welcoming “a ravening tiger into his living room.”

    Laura Hazard Owen, on, pointed to a similar deal in 2001 between Amazon and Borders as part of the reason for the chain’s decline and eventual bankruptcy.

    Center for Fiction Benefit to Feature Richard Ford and Joyce Carol Oates

    On Wednesday, June 6, The Center for Fiction in partnership with the City University of New York, will present a discussion between Richard Ford and Joyce Carol Oates at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College in New York City. The event benefits The Center for Fiction’s Books for NYC Schools program.

    The ticket price of $28 includes a choice of either Richard Ford’s Canada or Joyce Carol Oates’s Mudwoman (available for pickup at the event); the price without the book is $15.

    The Center for Fiction is offering a special discount price for ABA members of $12 without the book, or $3 off the $28 price with the book.

    Information and tickets are available via The Center for Fiction website. To receive the discount, ABA members should enter the code: ABAFORDOATES.

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Files for Bankruptcy

    On Monday, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after agreeing with creditors to eliminate $3.1 billion of debt, according to a Reuters report.

    The bankruptcy comes amid state and local government school budgets cuts that reduced the demand for textbooks. HMH’s education business accounts for about 90 percent of its revenue.

    Houghton Mifflin said it expects to emerge from Chapter 11 by June 30.