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Amazon-owned AbeBooks has made a u-turn on plans to quit trading in four countries after a boycott by more than 550 book dealers.

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The Amazon-owned portal site announced it would pull out of Czech Republic, Hungary, South Korea and Russia.

However, the protest and surrounding campaign, which saw nearly 3.8m books temporarily removed from the site by hundreds of rare book dealers, led to a meeting between Abe- Books bosses and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) last week.

After apologising for the upset caused, AbeBooks CEO Arkady Vitrouk agreed to reinstate the affected booksellers by allowing them to trade under current conditions until December 31, 2018, and offered a “solution to trade beyond that time indefinitely”.

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ILAB president Sally Burdon said AbeBooks assured members that it will “do everything it can to continue support the booksellers”. She added: “I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who participated in this extraordinary and unprecedented protest.

“Without the protests and the media attention I know we would not have so easily got this excellent outcome.

“This historic, unprecedented action is a success for us all.”

There have been tensions between booksellers and Abe- Books on a number of issues in the past and some dealers are still unhappy with some of the website’s practices.

"This unprecedented action is a success for us all"

Angus O’Neill, president of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association International (ABA), said: “Personally, I think our future lies with metasearch engines such as vialibri.net, which can search a variety of platforms including our members’ own websites, but I am very glad that Abe has begun to take our community seriously.

“There are a number of issues which we’d like them to address – the proliferation of computer-generated listings of books, often absurdly priced by algorithms, is just one example – and we look forward to discussing those over the coming months.”

AbeBooks, launched in 1996 in British Columbia, Canada, and bought by Amazon in 2008, is the most influential online trading site for out-of-print books.

An AbeBooks spokesman said: “These sellers are an important part of our community and we are putting together a solution that will allow them to continue selling through [the site]. We are working directly with many of these sellers on the details and have appreciated their collaboration.”