Goliath Demands Redress for David-Inflicted Grievances

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As part of a long-running dispute about college textbook pricing, Amazon.com, the largest online retailer in the United States of America, is now suing the National Association of College Stores, the trade association representing some 3000 college bookstores.

According to an article by Karen Gullo and Joseph Galante at Bloomberg:

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), the biggest online retailer, sued for a court order declaring that its advertised discounts of 30 percent on new college textbooks and 90 percent on used ones aren’t false or misleading.

Amazon sued the National Association of College Stores Inc. today in federal court in Seattle, saying the trade group is trying to prevent it from advertising lower prices. The association filed a complaint in March with the Better Business Bureau in New York calling Amazon’s claims false and misleading, the online retailer said in its filing.

According to the lawsuit “Amazon truthfully advertises that students can save up to 30% on new textbooks, and up to 90% on used textbooks. In fact, for many titles, the percentage off is even greater.”

It’s not entirely clear why National Association of College Stores believes that these 30 percent discount claims are misleading.

The Amazon lawsuit seeks official recognition that its advertisements don’t actually violate the Lanham Act, as NACS alleges. The Lanham (Trademark) Act of 1946 forbids false advertising. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer