Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Round 11 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs Great Britain

In the latest round of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars, Great Britain is calling for an anti-trust inquiry into Amazon's bad "behaviour."

Amazon's book sales accounted for nearly one-third of all book sales in the UK, and nearly 80% of ebook sales. Britain's booksellers are worried, and rightly so, that they will be driven out of business. 

The inquiry will investigate precisely how Amazon is smashing the competition, but there will be no surprises concerning Amazon's tactics.

Because Amazon is the "everything store" it can afford to lose money on books. Amazon has claimed that it is on the "side of the consumers" by keeping prices low, but, in reality, it is merely using its broad sales platform to drive all of its competitors out of business. Once there is no competition, Amazon can do what it likes.

British retailers and book publishers are attempting to provide online sales outlets to compete with Amazon, but, so far, they have not had great success.  Frankly, it may be a case of "too little, too late."

So far, the US has not taken a stand on the Amazon empire - nor will it ever. Despite our official support of free trade, we believe in monopolies.

Rounds (so far) in the Amazon vs Everybody Wars (click on the red title to view)

Round 10 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs Japan
Amazon ranks publishers according to how much they pay Amazon. Publishers call it "blackmail."

Round 9 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs Authors
900 American authors post a letter in the NYT asking people to write to Jeff Bezos about his hardball tactics. 1000 European authors follow suit.

Round 8 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs Disney
Amazon removes the preorder option of nearly every title from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

Round 7 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs the FTC
The FTC says it is "seeking full refunds for all affected consumers, disgorgement of Amazon's ill-gotten gains, and a court order ensuring that in the future Amazon obtains permission before imposing charges for in-app purchases."

Round 6 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs The Authors Guild
"The Guild has often opposed Amazon’s more ruthless tactics, not because we’re anti-Amazon but because we believe the company has stepped over the line and threatened the publishing ecosystem in ways that jeopardize both our livelihoods and the future of authorship itself."

Round 5 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs France
French lawmakers adopt a bill that prevents Amazon and other online giants from offering free deliveries of discounted books, in a bid to support the country's small bookshops. (Amazon sidesteps the law by offering deliveries for one penny.)

Round 4 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs Germany
German publishers launch an antitrust complaint against Amazon.

Amazon Socks it to Time Warner: Authors, Are You Paying Attention?
Amazon Stops Taking Advance Orders for ‘Lego’ and Other Warner Videos

Amazon Squashes Major Publishing House - Again (Hachette)
Amazon delays publication of Hachette titles, stalls shipments, removes pre-order capabilities, and raises prices while offering cheaper substitutes.

Round 1 in the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs Macmillan.
Amazon pulls all Macmillan books, including its imprints Farrar, Straus & Giroux, St. Martins Press and Henry Holt in a pricing dispute. 

Publishers call for UK antitrust inquiry into Amazon

By Henry Mance, Financial Times, September 18, 2014

British publishers have called for a competition inquiry into Amazon’s dominance, saying that the UK’s retail book market “suffers from a chronic and debilitating imbalance for authors, publishers and booksellers”.

The move is the latest broadside against Amazon – which is already facing a protracted battle against French publisher Hachette and a competition complaint from German booksellers.

Read the rest of this article here.

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