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Connecticut Investigating Amazon’s E-Book Business

Connecticut is actively investigating how Amazon.com Inc. sells and distributes digital books, according to the state’s attorney general, the latest of several state and federal probes into the tech giant’s business practices.

The investigation is examining whether Amazon engaged in anticompetitive behavior in the e-book business through its agreements with certain publishers, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement.

Connecticut asked Amazon to provide documents related to its dealings with five of the largest U.S. book publishers, according to a subpoena issued in 2019. The Tech Transparency Project, a nonprofit that investigates technology platforms, obtained the subpoena through an open records request and shared it with The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Mr. Tong said the company has cooperated with the subpoena.

Connecticut has previously taken interest in the e-book business. In 2012, the U.S. Justice Department alleged in a civil antitrust lawsuit that five major publishers and Apple Inc. had worked together to raise e-book prices. Connecticut, along with Texas, led a similar legal effort by a group of states.

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