Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Merger reflects changes in book industry Your opinion piece, "Barnes & Noble's dangerous merger bid" (Feb. 1), offers readers an inaccurate argument against the proposed transaction between Ingram Book Group and Barnes & Noble.

Ingram pursued its merger with Barnes & Noble in order to maintain a stable volume of book orders. The transaction reflects significant changes in the book industry, where the surge in online retailers, growth of nontraditional book retailers, development of internal distribution capabilities, and the increasing sales direct from publishers all are eroding the traditional book wholesaling business.

The essay's author is flat wrong when he asserts that the merger would threaten the diversity of books published. This transaction will result in making more - not fewer - titles available to book buyers. Consumers want a diverse selection of titles at their fingertips and there are more books available today at a wider variety of outlets than ever before. We intend to answer that demand. Contrary to the author's claims, this transaction does not affect competition in the book industry. Options for booksellers continue to expand. Today there are about 70 wholesalers besides Ingram from which booksellers may choose to purchase books. And the truth is, booksellers have increasingly been moving away from Ingram and other wholesalers and buying most of their books directly from publishers. Regarding Ingram's sharing confidential and proprietary customer information with Barnes & Noble, Ingram will continue to operate in the same manner as we have done in the past, taking our solemn responsibility and commitment to customers very seriously. John Ingram La Vergne, Tenn. Chairman of the board Ingram Book Group Egyptian press not "anti-Semitic" Regarding "Press in Egypt chills ties to Israel" (Feb. 3): I was slightly miffed to read your story about the state of the press in Egypt, especially its claim that this press is increasingly anti-Semitic. …

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