• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Amazon 'should not endanger diversity'
State minister for culture and media Monika Grütters. Photo: DPA

Amazon 'should not endanger diversity'

AFP · 21 Aug 2014, 09:00

Published: 21 Aug 2014 09:00 GMT+02:00

"Market power and domination over central distribution channels should not endanger our cultural diversity," said the state minister for culture and media, Monika Grütters, of Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling Christian Democrats (CDU).

Her statement "welcomes and supports" a campaign by authors, some of whom have been caught in the cross-fire as Amazon re-negotiates its deals with publishers.

German-language authors have accused Amazon of delaying the release of books and boycotting authors signed to publishing houses in dispute with the US company.

"If titles are removed from recommendation lists and deliveries are delayed to enforce discount demands from publishers, this is totally unacceptable," Grütters said, stressing that books are both "economic goods" and "cultural property".

More than 1,000 German-language writers have signed a petition protesting against Amazon's methods in its e-book price battle with Scandinavian publishing house Bonnier, a major player in German publishing.

Earlier, US writers had protested over Amazon's dispute with publishing conglomerate Hachette which represents authors including JK Rowling, Malcolm Gladwell and James Patterson, accusing the company of "taking writers hostage" in its e-books pricing battle.

Story continues below…

Grütters said that "literature, books, publishing houses ... are a foundation of our cultural life".

"They must not be subject purely to market principles. Dealing appropriately with these values   also has an ethical dimension. This applies to all players - including Amazon."

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Berlin to teach Germans how to dance with wolves
Photo: DPA

Berlin to teach Germans how to dance with wolves
3 hours ago

Wolves are once again roaming the forests of Germany after being wiped out over a century ago. The government is now providing nearly half a million Euros to teach people how to live with them in peace.

The Local List
7 songs to make your German lover swoon on Valentine's
Helene Fischer. Photo: DPA

7 songs to make your German lover swoon on Valentine's
6 hours ago

Germans aren’t known as an overly emotional bunch. But they’ve still created some of the most powerful ballads of all time - these seven are guaranteed to melt even the hardest Teuton heart.

Grow a thicker skin, Germany tells Poland
The carnival float was placed on display in Düsseldorf despite the parade being cancelled due to high winds. Photo: DPA

Grow a thicker skin, Germany tells Poland
6 hours ago

The German government reminded Poland on Wednesday that it doesn't control political speech within its borders, after Warsaw complained about a Düsseldorf carnival float which mocked the leader of its governing party.

Deutsche Bank stock price crash
Five reasons why Germany is worried about Deutsche Bank
File photo: DPA

Five reasons why Germany is worried about Deutsche Bank
10 hours ago

Since the beginning of 2016, Deutsche Bank – Germany's biggest lender – has lost 40 percent of its value on the stock market. What's got investors so spooked?

Cologne locals take refugees under their wing for Karneval
A charity-hosted "Karneval for Beginners" class for refugees in Cologne. Photo: DPA.

Cologne locals take refugees under their wing for Karneval
11 hours ago

Reactions to the New Year sexual assaults in Cologne have been strong, occasionally involving violence against refugees. But some Cologne locals decided to take immigrants under their wing for the city's biggest party.

Germany puts two SS men on trial over Auschwitz killings
Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

Germany puts two SS men on trial over Auschwitz killings
12 hours ago

Two former SS men will go on trial this month for their alleged complicity in the murder of thousands of people at Auschwitz, as Germany accelerates its bid to prosecute ageing Third Reich criminals.

Four arrested after grenade thrown at refugee home
A senior detective displays models of the M26 grenades, made in former Yugoslavia, used in the attack. Photo: DPA

Four arrested after grenade thrown at refugee home
12 hours ago

Police arrested four men in southwest Germany late on Tuesday for throwing a hand grenade at a refugee home.

Bavaria train crash
All missing accounted for in Bavaria crash
Rescue workers stand in front of one of the wrecked train wagons on Tuesday evening. Photo: DPA

All missing accounted for in Bavaria crash
13 hours ago

Police said on Wednesday morning that they were not expecting to find any further victims of Tuesday's train crash southeast of Munich, denying reports of an eleventh body found.

Bavaria train crash: what we know so far
The scene at the site of the crash was one of total devastation. Photo: DPA

Bavaria train crash: what we know so far
13 hours ago

Check here for a quick overview of all the latest information on the train accident in Bad Aibling, Bavaria on Tuesday morning.

As it happened: Bavaria train crash
An aerial shot shows the extent of the devastation at the crash site, where two trains ran into one another head-on on a single-track rail line just outside Bad Aibling. Photo: DPA

As it happened: Bavaria train crash
1 day ago

Two trains collided early on Tuesday morning in southern Germany, derailing carriages and killing nine passengers and injuring around 80 others.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
National
What we know so far about the Bavaria train crash
Culture
10 essential words you'll need when visiting Cologne carnival
Technology
Army presents new camo pattern that can fool night vision goggles
Health
Disabled people explain what life is like for them in Germany
International
How to vote in the US election when you live abroad
Business & Money
The small town planning to get rid of small change
National
Top five inventions of Germany's 'patent king'
National
Pensioner crushed in hospital machine
Politics
Could Bernie Sanders get elected in Germany?
Society
Most German conservatives back gay marriage: poll
Politics
'Russia aims to weaken the EU. The refugee crisis is an opportunity.'
Gallery
Eight wonders of the world's biggest toy fair in Nuremberg
National
Islamists and Neo-Nazis both ready for violence, say spies
Frankfurt
Drunk-driving cop tries to escape through toilet window
Berlin
How Berlin Bowie fans paid tribute with art on ice
Police fight rumours they've been hiding truth on refugees
Berlin
Brave passengers grab man accused of shoving woman under train
National
Software bug means German jets can't fly at night
Rhineland
First suspects arrested after Cologne sexual assaults
Politics
Berlin to North Africa: take deportees or give up aid cash
Lifestyle
10 ways German inventors have made the world a better place
7,082
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd