Do you own the rights to an audiobook sold via Amazon’s Audible platform? Attorneys are investigating a potential monopoly affecting the audiobooks market, and you may have been denied what you were owed for your work. Fill out the form to find out your rights »

Case Status
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
Case Number
Defendant(S), Inc.
File Date


Hagens Berman’s legal team filed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon accusing it of monopolistic behavior in the audiobook market allegedly harming audiobook authors and narrators. Experts have reviewed data across 20,000 recently published audiobooks across 25 genres from various outlets, including independent and large-scale publishers. Attorneys believe Audible’s exclusivity deals, policies and pricing may prohibit audiobook authors from receiving just payment for their work.


Attorneys are fighting for the potential claims of audiobook rights holders regardless of whether they sold their audiobooks through an exclusive or competitive deal with Amazon’s Audible, paying either 60%+ or 75%+ distribution fees.


According to industry insiders and the firm’s independent analysis of market data, Amazon may be engaging in anticompetitive behavior in the audiobook market through its audiobook platform, Audible, the dominant audiobook platform in the U.S. Amazon may be charging much higher prices for distribution than it would in a competitive market, effectively boxing competition out of the market via exclusivity deals and charging an excessive price for audiobook distribution services.

Amazon dominates the audiobook market, accounting for over 60% of all retail sales, leaving many independent rights holders with only one rational economic choice: to distribute exclusively through Amazon and forego the possibility of sales on other platforms. Sources say Amazon’s Audible has reduced both output and innovation through its pricing and policies.

Amazon protects its dominance in the audiobook market through exclusivity deals, monetary penalties for those to choose competitive deals, and restrictions on newly released material, thereby harming competing platforms and barring them from offering certain titles to customers. Amazon also imposes restrictions on audiobook prices, features and promotions.


According to the firm’s lawsuit, Amazon effectively enacts a 15-percentage-point penalty and imposes other non-price penalties for anyone who sells their audiobooks on Audible on a competitive basis. Most independent authors and publishers have opted for exclusive distribution through Amazon because the penalty is punitively high, keeping them from distributing to other platforms. This penalty has affected billions of dollars of sales by independent rights holders in the last five years alone, according to attorneys.

With its monopoly power in the audiobook market, Amazon charges exceptionally high distribution prices to independent rights holders—60%+ to 75%+—indicative of monopolistic behavior, attorneys say. Audible’s policies also prohibit narrator royalties.


Authors and content creators have taken to online forums to share their own experiences with Amazon’s Audible. Cory Doctorow stated in his article published via Medium, “In the years since the Amazon acquisition, Audible has become the 800-pound gorilla of audiobooks. They have done all kinds of underhanded things — like buying up the first couple books in a series and releasing them as Audible-only recordings, then refusing to record the rest of the series, orphaning it. They’re also notorious among narrators for squeezing their hourly rates lower than anyone else. Audible also refuses to sell into libraries, so all the ‘Audible Original’ titles are blocked from our public library systems.”

“I think audiences get that there’s something really wrong with a system where a single company controls an entire literary format.”


Hagens Berman believes those who have been harmed by Amazon’s policies and audiobook exclusivities deserve compensation. The firm is seeking to represent those affected via federal antitrust laws to recover monetary losses faced by authors as well as an injunction to end Amazon’s alleged monopoly.


Hagens Berman is one of the most successful antitrust litigation law firms in the U.S. and has achieved total settlements valued at more than $320 billion in class-action lawsuits against high tech companies, manufacturers, big banks, automakers and more. Hagens Berman has achieved record-breaking settlements in antitrust cases, and your claim will be handled by attorneys experienced in antitrust law. The firm also won a prior class-action lawsuit regarding artificially high prices for e-books, winning $616 million for purchasers in a case that went before the U.S. Supreme Court.


In no case will any class member ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum. In the event Hagens Berman or any other firm obtains a settlement that provides benefits to class members, the court will decide a reasonable fee to be awarded to the legal team for the class.


Complaint Filed

Hagens Berman purchases advertisements on search engines, social media sites and other websites. Transmission of the information contained or available through this website is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you seek legal advice or representation by Hagens Berman, you must first enter a formal agreement. All information contained in any transmission is confidential and Hagens Berman agrees to protect information against unauthorized use, publication or disclosure. This site is regulated by the Washington Rules of Professional Conduct.