I had to re-read a recent article title and pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming.
Amazon has recently sued the National Association of College Stores (NACS) claiming the 3,100 member group supported a monopoly that takes advantage of college students when they buy or sell textbooks.
Amazon is suing someone claiming they are running a monopoly?
Amazon who is the constant guerrilla in a monopolistic price war with Barnes&Noble and Walmart for cheap books, low price tablets, or Apple over music download prices wants to complain about monopolistic practices?
Okay, Amazon is basically counter suing after the NACS sought a nonbinding advisory ruling from the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau that certain Amazon ads were misleading and unfounded. Amazon quickly shut down this action via their legal department because the Better Business Bureau (BBB) cannot continue with inquiries that involve litigation. What Amazon ads ruffled the feathers of the NACS?
Amazon routinely claims that one can buy textbooks online for cheap, promising new textbooks at up to 30% off list prices and up to 90% for used textbooks. The NACS seems to be most upset with Amazon’s textbook buyback program where students are selling back textbooks not to the members of the NACS, but rather getting credit with Amazon’s textbook buyback program which is often offering up to 60% or more of the original list price. While Amazon is only offering credit for textbook buyback, their prices are often much higher than any other company buying used books and paying cash. However, Amazon sells everything from gourmet food to shoes these days, so Amazon credit is not necessarily a bad thing to offer college students especially since Amazon is pushing their Prime Membership upon the textbook online buying masses.
The great news here is that each side is only trying to protect their bottom line when they could be utilizing those hundred of thousands in lawyer fees to help reduce education costs, but hey, that is just crazy talk.