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Antitrust Lawsuit Filed Over EMV Chip Card Transition

An antitrust lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California claims that four major credit card companies and nearly a dozen banks conspired to shift the liability for fraudulent credit card charges to merchants, reported the Recorder.

The lawsuit alleges that the transition to EMV chip card technology — named for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa — was used as a cover to illegally shift this liability. Retailers were required to transition to EMV chip card technology by October 1, 2015, or potentially be held liable for fraudulent charges.

“Merchants were not consulted about the change, were not permitted to opt out, were not offered any reduction of the interchange fee, the merchant discount fee, the swipe fee — or any other cost of accepting defendants’ credit and charge cards,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers claim. “The liability shift was unilaterally imposed to the benefit of defendants, with no compensation, consultation or consideration of any kind made to the class members.”

The lawsuit was filed on March 8 by law firms Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd and Devine Goodman Rasco & Watts-FitzGerald on behalf of a small grocery store chain and a liquor store in Florida. The plaintiffs say the changes violate the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and California’s Cartwright Act and unjust-enrichment law. EMVCo LLC, which is co-owned by Visa, MasterCard, UnionPay, JCB, Discover, and American Express, is named as a defendant.

BookCon 2016 Unveils Slate of YA Authors

BookCon 2016 has announced its lineup of YA authors heading to Chicago for the daylong consumer showcase following this May’s BookExpo America.

In a March 10 announcement, BookCon organizer ReedPOP revealed the names of seven young adult authors who will be making appearances at the May 14 event: Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen, Glass Sword); Alyson Noel (The Immortals series); Colleen Oakes (Wendy Darling, Elly in Bloom); Katherine McGee (The Thousandth Floor); Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood series, Goddess War series and Three Dark Crowns); Kimberly McCreight (Reconstructing Amelia, The Outliers); and Lauren Oliver (Delirium series, Before I Fall, Vanishing Girls).

BookCon’s growing roster of authors also includes Meg Cabot, Sabaa Tahir, and Chris O’Dowd; additional guests will be announced in the coming weeks.

Consortium Signs Distribution Deals with Six Publishers

Consortium Book Sales & Distribution has added distribution deals with six publishers for the fall 2016 season.

The six companies, to be distributed by Consortium starting June 1, are: The Critical Press, a publisher of books on film and culture; DoppelHouse Press, which publishes books that focus on architecture, design, and art, as well as histories of immigration and exile; h.f.ullmann publishing, which publishes high quality illustrated books; Lesser Gods, a new boutique publisher focused on cutting-edge music books; Mandel Vilar Press, the nonprofit publishing arm of Americas for Conservation + the Arts; and Vodka & Milk, a professional recording studio in New York City that publishes audio books.

Consortium is part of Perseus Books Group’s distribution operations that are being sold to Ingram Content Group.

Phaidon Press and The Met Store to Launch Pop-up Bookstore

Phaidon Press and The Met Store, the retail arm of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, are joining to launch a pop-up bookstore at the new Met Breuer museum. The opening of “Phaidon x The Met Bookstore” on Friday, March 18, will coincide with the three days of events celebrating the public opening of the Met Breuer.

The store, to be located on the fifth floor of the landmark Marcel Breuer building on Madison Avenue at 75th Street, will showcase nearly 300 titles including The Met’s award-winning publications and a rotating selection of Phaidon’s books, including a selection of limited and autographed editions and an exclusive Met/Phaidon edition of Phaidon’s monograph, Breuer.

This is the first retail collaboration of its kind for The Met Store. The pop-up bookstore will be open through summer 2016.

Edwidge Danticat to Deliver Keynote at Children’s Book Writers’ Conference

Bestselling Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat will deliver the keynote address at the second annual “Color of Children’s Literature” children’s book writers’ conference, which aims to bring new writers and illustrators of color into the publishing industry.  The conference, which is sponsored by Kweli Journal, an online journal of multicultural literature, will be held on Saturday, April 9, at Scandinavia House in midtown Manhattan and will honor the late children’s book author Walter Dean Myers.

Danticat’s speech will be followed by panels on “Publishing 101,” trends in the publishing landscape, writing children’s picture books and middle-grade and YA novels, and advice on submitting manuscripts to agents and working with editors.

More than 20 agents and editors are expected to attend the conference in search of new talent, according to Kweli’s founding editor/publisher, Laura Pegram, who is coordinating the conference. They will attend alongside established authors like Daniel José Older, Nnedi Okorafor, Sheela Chari, and Joseph Bruchac. 

“As cultural workers, we’re excited about helping writers and artists of color make a way in the publishing industry,” said Pegram. “It’s about ‘lifting as we climb,’ and celebrating our voices, our stories, our truth.”

For further information about the conference, visit the Kweli Journal website.