In a statement, Richard Mollet, c.e.o. of the PA, said: "The Publishers Association will be making a joint submission with the IPG; the first time that our two organisations have collaborated in this way. This reflects the strength of feeling among publishing companies that the OFT should block this merger."
Going further, Mollet said more should be done to investigate the fairness of the market share internet-only retailers have in comparison to physical bookshops. He said: "Whatever the decision in this particular case, we feel it is high time that competition authorities took a closer interest in the developments of the book retail market—especially given that data from BML shows that internet-only retailers have 31% of the retail market by value, and growing."
The OFT does have the power to investigate markets that do not appear to be meeting the needs of consumers, with possible outcomes including taking competition or consumer enforcement action, encouraging businesses in the market to self-regulate, making recommendations to government to change regulations or public policy, making a market investigation reference to the Competition Commission and improving the quality and accessibility of information for consumers. The OFT said it could not comment on whether it would look into the bookselling market as a whole while it is still investigating the merger of Amazon and TBD.
More than 100 members of the IPG responded to a survey expressing concerns that the merger would give Amazon too much power in the online bookselling market, which may lead to it having more leverage when demanding better terms from suppliers.
More at The Bookseller