updated 06:13 pm EDT, Sun August 31, 2014
Japanese publishers calling Amazon to task for abusing market position
In addition to its fight with publisher Hachette and UK booksellers, Amazon is also battling a series of Japanese publishers. In the process of launching a new ranking system in the country, Amazon Japan is alienating publishers, giving higher rankings to sellers that pay a larger percentage of income back to Amazon, and also boosting search results of publishers that hold larger back catalogs for sale on the service.
The deal, with details reported by The Digital Reader, notes that publishers are calling it economic blackmail, and claims that Amazon is using its dominant position in the country to abuse publishers.
"Many publishers are in talks with Amazon to renew their two-year contracts, but this time they're facing heavy demands from the company, which has grown rapidly here," said an anonymous publisher to AFP, fearing reprisal from Amazon. "If this kind of practice continues, small Japanese publishers who have created a diverse publishing culture here will be forced to go bankrupt."
"We're not sure if linking promotion and commission fees to book circulation ... is a fair business practice," said another source regarding the dispute. Five publishers are boycotting Amazon for this, and other related business matters, with 2,700 titles not being available on the service as a result.
Amazon has declined to comment on the matter, calling it "linked to publishers" and private as a result. While the dispute doesn't exactly mirror that of Amazon's fight with Hachette, multiple companies boycotting the marketplace is a sign of growing dissatisfaction with the bullying tactics of Amazon.