A Texas-based publisher says it has been in conversations with the state attorney general about an investigation into Amazon’s political bias after the online giant suppressed the sales of a conservative/libertarian-themed book.
“We’ve had multiple conversations with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on this issue and he expressed concern for the negative consequences to a Texas author and publisher and he indicated his office will explore this in conjunction with other censorship efforts by social media and tech giants,” said David Roberts, president of Defiance Press & Publishing.
“With the advent of the shadowbanning that is occurring to conservative voices by giant tech companies and social media platforms – we plan to explore every route possible – including legal and regulatory action if necessary to expose and resolve this issue, whether this is an action by a rogue Amazon employee or a systematic attack on free speech and the God-given right to self-determination.”
The case centers on the book “TEXIT: Why and How Texas Will Leave the Union,” which Defiance published recently.
It comes amidst growing concern that giant tech and social media companies are suppressing conservative and libertarian speech in response to the 2016 election of President Donald Trump.
Amazon, along with Facebook, Twitter and Google, have been accused of suppressing conservative speech. This week, a video obtained by Breitbart News of Google executives at their first weekly meeting after Trump’s election showed their determination to stop the emerging global populist movement.
WND reported last month the recent wave of censorship of conservative voices on the internet by tech giants mirrors a plan concocted by a coalition of George Soros-funded, progressive groups to take back power in Washington from President Trump’s administration.
Defiance Press noticed problems with the sales of author Daniel Miller’s “TEXIT.”
While it first “surged to the top of Amazon’s new release charts in three non-fiction sub-genres,” there was an abrupt change.
“Approximately six weeks ago Amazon began requiring potential purchasers of TEXIT to be Amazon Prime members, which cost $119 per year. We have never seen this restriction on any of our book titles in the past. When we contacted our distributor, they indicated they had also never seen Amazon require Prime membership to purchase a title they distributed,” Roberts said.
There was more.
“Amazon has also limited the quantities of TEXIT a customer could buy to no more than four. This title was generating bulk sales as many readers would gift multiple copies to friends, families and elected officials,” he said.
And he explained, “Amazon has also lowered the price to near wholesale cost. As the largest bookseller, this pricing strategy will likely discourage other book retailers from stocking and selling a title in which matching the Amazon price would guarantee a competitor no profit incentive to carry TEXIT.
“While I’m a big believer in free market pricing, it’s the combination of these questionable tactics and Amazon’s refusal to even respond to the concerns by the publisher, distributor and author that leads us to believe there is another agenda at work regarding this title – and we intend to find out exactly what that agenda is,” Roberts said.
He said Amazon only partly lifted its restrictions in response to a public pressure campaign.
The retailer, Roberts said, needs to account for lost sales of “TEXIT.”