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Amazon blocking books of competitive publishers?

updated 04:00 pm EDT, Fri March 28, 2008

Amazon vs. publishers

Massive Internet retailer Amazon.com is deliberately strong-arming some of its publishing competition, reports say. Amazon bought print-on-demand (POD) publisher BookSurge in 2005, but has for some time also sold books from other POD outfits, namely the largest such company, Lightning Source. Representatives for Amazon are said to be approaching Lightning Source customers however, and insisting that they either switch to BookSurge, or have the "Buy" buttons on their Amazon pages shut off. This forces customers to turn to a reseller, where they are also ineligible for free shipping.

This has apparently been confirmed by one Amazon representative, John Clifford, who explains that books not converted to BookSurge's system will be "taken down." Poor-selling books may have to be shifted over to Amazon's Advantage Program, which costs $30 per year plus 55 percent of the list price of a title, and expenses associated with shipping it to Amazon. In cases where two versions of a title are on offer, says Clifford, the company is defaulting to BookSurge. [via WritersWeekly]




by MacNN Staff

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  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    amazon bares their teeth

    Well, Amazon finally bares its teeth. That's a pretty ruthless strong-arm tactic. Removing the Amazon 'Buy Now" button is a pretty huge disadvantage. This might just be a falling out between Amazon and the publisher in question, involving some kind of contract dispute, but it's nasty that Amazon is trying to target the authors directly and get them to sign with their publishing company. Seems that their publishing interests are in conflict with their retail interests.

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