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Barnes & Noble Goes After Amazon Affiliates

14 Feb, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey

Barnes & Noble

The president of Barnes & Noble’s website () is making a play for current members of Amazon.com’s affiliates program, with Amazon threatening to cut ties with affiliates in certain states over sales tax issues.

Amazon’s Associates Program allows websites to place Amazon advertisements on their Web pages and then earn money from Amazon purchases made as a result. But disputes with several states about whether Amazon should collect sales tax — based on the company having a physical presence in the state — has led it to cut its affiliates program in Hawaii, North Carolina, Rhode Island and other states.

“Barnes & Noble is disappointed to hear that Amazon would threaten small businesses’ livelihood rather than comply with state law,” John Foley, president of BN.com, said in a Feb. 14 letter. “Here at Barnes & Noble, we value the 13,000-plus members of our affiliate program worldwide. They are an important part of our overall business success and strategy. Barnes & Noble collects and remits sales tax due from its sales, including from BN.com, our e-commerce business.”

The letter goes on to say that BN.com will collect and remit all sales tax on purchases through its affiliates’ websites, “so you and our customers don’t have to worry about being hassled or prosecuted by state tax auditors.”

Earlier this month Amazon announced it would close its Irving, Texas, distribution center over a dispute involving that state’s sales tax laws.

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