AMS Bankruptcy Links (1/8/07)

  • There’s continuing coverage at Galleycat, with additional commentary from Sarah, as well as the effects of AMS’s bankruptcy on Quarto, a publisher that has suffered significant losses (to the tune of $1.5m in payments). More on Quarto here.
  • Additionally, Sarah has unearthed some considerable corruption within AMS over the years. I’m hoping to investigate this in more depth soon, but it appears that numerous AMS executives have been subject to SEC criminal charges since AMS purchased PGW.
  • ICV2 has more, reporting that AMS has had considerable legal expenses over the years: over $14 million in 2005 and $6 million in 2006 (although offering no sources for these figures).
  • Icarus Comics suggests that the AMS bankruptcy should serve as “a warning” and that Diamond, despite all the criticisms leveled its way, is an efficient and profitable distributor.
  • Charlie Anders suggests supporting publishers through alternatives (such as the magazines at McSweeney’s and Soft Skull’s fiction subscription).
  • The San Diego Business Journal tracks down AMS’ largest shareholder. The man’s name is Robert Robotti. His stock dropped from $3.4 million to $650,000 after the bankruptcy. That’s 7% of the outstanding stock. Robotti says that the bankruptcy move was the right decision. He would not reveal the steps in progress to preserve AMS, but it does involve selling the company.
  • Kathryn Cramer offers some analysis on why publishers were continuing to use AMS as a distributor when AMS had several executives cooking the books. It may be because of AMS’s near-exclusive access to the discount retailers. Cramer’s question is whether or not AMS held a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
  • But the biggest potential news comes from Publishers Weekly: AMS may be selling off PGW. PW says it has sources which suggest that there have been discussions along these lines, but until there’s more reliable information here (like PW offering a named source), this is mere conjecture.

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