The shakeout–or is it shack down?–in the book publishing and distribution industry continues.
When monopolies win, sooner or later the customer (that would be us readers) loses.
What makes the dispute between Amazon and Hachette different is that Amazon’s tactics have no obvious consumer benefit, a key antitrust consideration.
The group “deplores any attempt by any party that would seek to injure and punish innocent authors — and their innocent readers — in order to pursue its position in a business dispute. We believe that such actions are analogous to hostage-taking to extort concessions, and are just as indefensible.” — Gail Hochman, president of the Association of Authors’ Representatives
What kind of entity in a competitive market would willfully drive customers into the arms of its competitors unless it believes it doesn’t really have any competitors? Can you imagine Best Buy refusing to deliver for a period of weeks what’s available from its competitors? But Amazon behaves as though they’re the only game in town. And increasingly they are. It’s a head-scratcher why anyone with…
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