Forty-eight hours after Gov. Jerry Brown signed California’s sales tax fairness provision, which requires out-of-state retailers to collect taxes on sales made to California customers, Barnes & Noble has issued a statement.
“We thank Governor Jerry Brown for demonstrating his commitment to California businesses by signing e-fairness into law. This legislation will directly benefit California businesses by creating a fair marketplace,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Barnes & Noble. “We believe that e-fairness will improve the economy, add jobs, and help struggling businesses everywhere in California. By signing this law, the Governor has made clear that his priorities are to help bolster economic recovery. This is a huge win for business in the state of California.”
It’s not hard to sense the glee in B&N’s statement as they watch their biggest competitor take a tumble in another state and cut ties with more affiliates. But it’s also hard not to see a measure of hypocrisy in Barnes & Noble championing a level playing field, when in the not-so-distant past B&N was running independent bookstores to the ground with their discounts.
It’s understandable for people out there to relish the sight of Amazon, in the big faceless corporate sense, squirm around as fairness prevails (and, no matter which way you cut it, the e-fairness legislation is nothing if not fair). But don’t forget all the affiliates that got dumped in the process–they’re the ones who are really losing here, not big, bad Amazon. Hopefully it won’t take another 12 years of legal battling to make things fair for them, too.
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Don’t Mess with Texas tax revenue. Texas Bookstore owner calls for governor to sign online sales tax bill.
Let’s make a deal. Barnes and Noble caught in a whirlwind of acquisition speculation.
Curtain Call. DC’s Arena Stage Theater adapts John Grisham’s novel A Time to Kill for the stage.
The Big Seven. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ventures into the wild and risky world of book publishing.
Listen Up! The 2011 Audie Award Winners.
…as if the weekend never happened
Barnes & Noble’s E-book Battle: The NYT explains how e-books are at the heart of the battle between Riggio and Burkle over control of Barnes & Noble.
Behind ‘Boardwalk Empire’: The LA Times takes us behind the scenes of HBO’s new show about organized crime in prohibition-era Atlantic City, based on a book.
Potter Pages: Real, actual, handrwitten, real manuscript pages from Harry Potter are on display at a book fest in Scotland. From Scotland.com.
The Story of a Novelist’s Library: The Boston Globe tells the tale of how fans reassembled the late novelist David Markson’s personal library.
Book Dating: A look at new matchmaking Web sites based on book preferences.
Agency Model Trouble in England: The UK has its own e-book troubles: Hachette switched to the agency model over there and had its e-books removed from three major retailers. From The Bookseller.
The Future of Newspapers in the Big Apple: Have you heard the rumors that Apple may launch a newsstand app like iBooks that will allow newspapers and magazines to sell digital subscriptions for iPad and iPhone? From Pocket Lint.
This is the week…
Barnes & Noble Landlords Worry: Landlords of malls where B&N is renting huge spaces are nervous that the company’s sale could mean store closures according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Scarlett with the Dragon Tattoo?: Rumors have it that Scarlett Johansson is auditioning for the American adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. From the Daily News.
Filming the Final Potter: Entertainment Weekly talks to the three Harry Potter film stars about filming the movies of the final book.
Will Apple, Amazon, and B&N Trounce the E-book Market?: E-Week wonders whether the three-way battle between these mega-companies could have some significant casualties, including Google Editions and Sony’s Reader.
Will Archie Comics Take Over the World?: The company behind Archie Comics is looking to expand its territory with licensing and other opportunities. From the NYT.
New Sony Readers Coming?: Rumors are spreading that Sony is about to refresh its Reader line to compete with all the competition. From Gadget Venue.
Amazon Digital Text Platform Hits the UK: The DTP is Amazon’s portal for authors and small publishers to put their content on Kindle, and it’s just opened in the UK. From the Bookseller.
Franzen Reviewed: Michiko Kakutani of the NYT has already reviewed Franzen’s new novel, weeks before publication–and she likes it!
Things are wrapping up in the court proceedings in which Ron Burkle is challenging the Barnes & Noble board’s use of the poison pill strategy to prevent Burkle’s accumulation of more stock. According to an AP story filed this morning, “Barnes & Noble board member Michael Del Giudice said that if investors holding more than 20 percent of the book seller’s shares simply agree to vote against the poison pill, that itself would trigger the pill.”
According to the article, Del Guidice was the last witness to testify, and things are set to wrap up as soon as next week with final arguments from the attorneys.