Andrew AlbaneseThe federal government has long been in the printing business – think of all those regulations – but until recently, it’s stayed out of the book business. That all changed, of course, when the Dept. of Justice sued Apple and publishers over e-book price-fixing

The role of the feds may grow further, though, if some people have their way. As the standoff persists between Hachette and Amazon over e-book pricing, a group of activist authors is calling on Washington to step in.

“This week, PW confirmed with bestselling thriller writer Douglas Preston that the group he founded and oversees Authors United has reached out to the Department of Justice, and apparently is poised to request antitrust inquiry into Amazon’s tactics,” Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, reports.

“I am all for having a big conversation about Amazon, and bookstores, and culture, libraries, and how we should consider protecting institutions we deem valuable—like bookstores,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “But the antitrust law is not the way to do that.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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