The American Booksellers Association has filed a motion to intervene in the case against Amazon filed by the Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys last fall (see “FTC and 17 States File Lawsuit Against Amazon”).  The goal of the association is to bolster the case filed by the FTC by including the concerns of independent booksellers.

The Association notes that in 1994, when Amazon launched, there were 7,000 independent booksellers in the U.S., a number that has now dropped to 2,500.  “Amazon has stifled such competition by ABA members by exercising its monopoly power to coerce publishers to accede to its demands for substantial and unjustified price discrimination, enabling Amazon to sell books to retail customers at prices that ABA members cannot match except by forgoing a sustainable margin, or incurring a loss, given the higher wholesale prices concurrently paid by ABA members for the same books,” the Association argued in its motion.

Motions to intervene are filed by parties who have an interest in the outcome of a case and want to make sure their interests are represented.  If the motion is denied, the ABA has asked for amicus status in support of the complaint.