Saturday, May 10, 2014

Is Amazon picking on Hatchette?

The New York Times is reporting that Amazon has a "secret campaign" against publisher Hatchette.  Specifically that they deliberately inflating the price of Hachette books and delaying their delivery to customers. This includes books by the imprints Grand Central Publishing, Orbit, and Little Brown.

I generally find accustaions of this type unconvincing. But in this case they are being made with people who are very familiar with how publishing works and showing specific evidence of in print books being listed as unavailable and prices being noticeably lower at Barnes and Noble. It is also being presented as researched fact by a well informed journalist.

Amazon has accumulated a great deal of influence and dominant market share.  Would this sort of strong arm tactic to get a better deal with a publisher be enough shift the balance of trust, and therefore ultimately the balance of power?  Or are people not directly involved just going to find reasons not to care and continue with consuming as normal?

5 comments:

Angie said...

My first question is, were the same people complaining just as loudly, screaming "monopoly!" with as much hysteria, and chanting "Evil, evil, evil!" just as long, when it was B&N doing the exact same thing to Simon & Schuster last year? 'Cause I don't remember a fraction of the outrage at B&N that's being aimed at Amazon right now. To me, that spells out Amazon Derangement Syndrome. [shrug] Whatever. Anti-Amazon people are anti-Amazon -- no news there.

Angie

Anonymous said...

I can't speak for anyone else, but I *don't* care. Hachette as a company conspired to price-gouge consumers for years with relative impunity, until they were busted for it. If they're reaping some of the fallout from that now, well, I am not going to cry about it.

Emily said...

Is being revenge price-gouged by Amazon any better? IMHO if Barnes and Noble has the same book for less--I will buy it there.

Anonymous said...

I buy stuff where it is cheapest. I like Amazon, but I am not married to them. My comment above was meant to indicate I don't feel too badly for Hachette being strong-armed by Amazon, not that I will support Amazon regardless of their pricing.

Emily said...

Hatchette does seem to have burned some bridges.