Barnes & Noble Looks to Scoop Up Amazon Affiliates
Amazon.com isn’t messing around in Texas. When the state
said the retailer would have to pay sales taxes just like all the other merchants
doing business there, it promptly announced it was closing an existing distribution
facility (119 jobs) in the Dallas area while scrapping plans to build another
(around 1,000 jobs) on the drawing board. It also said it would end its relationship
with all of its affiliates in the state.
The e-tailing giant said it was taking
the steps because of the "unfavorable
regulatory climate" in Texas.
The Texas state comptroller’s office had
sought to get Amazon to pay $269 million in what it claimed was unpaid sales
taxes plus penalties.
Allen Spelce, a spokesperson for Comptroller Susan Combs,
told the Austin-American
Statesman, "We regret losing any business in the state of Texas," while
adding, if you have a business presence in the state of Texas, you’re no different
than any other business in the state of Texas, and you still owe sales tax."
Governor Rick Perry was critical of the action taken by the comptroller.
the politics play out in Texas, Barnes & Noble is looking to gain
an advantage with an invitation to Amazon affiliates to join its network.
Foley, president of Barnes & Noble.com, wrote in an open letter published
yesterday, "Barnes & Noble wants Amazon.com affiliates who have been
terminated to know that you are welcome to join the Barnes & Noble affiliate
family. If Amazon doesn’t want you, we do! And, we will take care of
collecting and remitting all sales taxes due on BN.com sales to its customers
so you and our customers don’t have to worry about being hassled or prosecuted
by state tax auditors."
Danny Diaz, a spokesperson for the Alliance for
Main Street Fairness (AMSF), an organization of retailers supporting laws that
would require all to collect sales taxes, said in a statement, "Today,
Barnes & Noble made clear
the difference between a company that cares about small businesses and conducts
itself as a good corporate citizen versus another that is more interested in
exploiting a loophole that gives it an unfair, competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar
retailers throughout the country."
- 119 to lose jobs when Amazon closes
Texas facility – Austin American-Statesman
- Barnes & Noble Issues Open Letter to Amazon Affiliates – Barnes & Noble,
- Stand with Main Street – Alliance for Main Street Fairness
Discussion Questions: Is it time for all online retailers to collect sales taxes for states where they have customers? Will Barnes & Noble gain anything as a result of its letter to Amazon affiliates?