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Amazon Escalates Its Battle Against Publishers 218

Posted by Soulskill
from the digital-walmart dept.
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from the NY Times: "Amazon, under fire in much of the literary community for energetically discouraging customers from buying books from the publisher Hachette, has abruptly escalated the battle. The retailer began refusing orders late Thursday for coming Hachette books, including J.K. Rowling's new novel. The paperback edition of Brad Stone's The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon — a book Amazon disliked so much it denounced it — is suddenly listed as 'unavailable.' In some cases, even the pages promoting the books have disappeared. Anne Rivers Siddons's new novel, The Girls of August, coming in July, no longer has a page for the physical book or even the Kindle edition. Only the audio edition is still being sold (for more than $60). Otherwise it is as if it did not exist. Amazon is also flexing its muscles in Germany, delaying deliveries of books issued by Bonnier, a major publisher."
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Amazon Escalates Its Battle Against Publishers

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  • Re:Good news for BN? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 23, 2014 @03:29PM (#47077675)

    the question is; is it abusing a dominant market position?

    I don't know enough about law to answer.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday May 23, 2014 @03:48PM (#47077899)

    right up and until the point where you wield monopoly power. In this case, Amazon has hit that point.

    Yeah, that's true. I mean, no-one can go to a book store and buy these books, can they? Amazon have a monopoly, and there's nowhere else the publisher can sell these books if Amazon refuse to do so.

  • Re:Good news for BN? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Daniel_Staal (609844) <DStaal@usa.net> on Friday May 23, 2014 @04:23PM (#47078257)

    The market position is 'bookstore' - so the question is 'is refusing to carry one book or one publisher's book out of dislike for the subject abusing it's position as a bookstore'?

  • Re:Good news for BN? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Friday May 23, 2014 @09:45PM (#47080761)

    Under anti-trust law market-leaders have a lot of responsibilities normal companies don't have. Which means your analogy to the local store is irrelevant. Local book stores don't have to deal with the Sherman Antitrust Act*.

    If you're a company like Amazon, and your policy is to stock damn near everything, including no less then 19 books by Hitler, you're not supposed to use your market power to screw anyone. You can use your power to a certain extent, but you can't abuse it. And yes, I'm fully aware that abuse is a relative term. That's kinda the point. If it wasn't, then a company could hack it's way around the objective definition very easily.

    Keep in mind that if anti-trust law did not exist nobody would be able to read Slashdot unless they used Windows and IE, and that nobody would even have a computer running an open source OS because IBM would just have slapped IBM-OS on the original PC and Linus would never have been able to buy a machine capable of running a kernel he wrote himself.

    *Internet factoid of the day: this is not named after the Civil War General, but after his brother, who became a Senator in 1861. He started as a Congressman, and almost became Speaker, but South Carolina managed to block him right before seceding, so he moved to the Senate. At the time William Tecumseh Sherman was known mostly as being Senator Sherman's brother. The loser third Sherman brother was Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.

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