“Amazon, under fire in much of the literary community for energetically discouraging customers from buying books from the publisher Hachette, has abruptly escalated the battle,” David Streitfeld and Melissa Eddy reports for The New York Times.

“The retailer began refusing orders late Thursday for coming Hachette books, including J.K. Rowling’s new novel,” Streitfeld and Eddy reports. “The paperback edition of Brad Stone’s ‘The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon’ — a book Amazon disliked so much it denounced it — is suddenly listed as ‘unavailable.'”

“Amazon is also flexing its muscles in Germany, delaying deliveries of books issued by Bonnier, a major publisher,” Streitfeld and Eddy reports. “‘It appears that Amazon is doing exactly that on the German market which it has been doing on the U.S. market: using its dominant position in the market to blackmail the publishers,”’ said Alexander Skipis, president of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association.”

“The confrontations with the publishers are the biggest display of Amazon’s dominance since it briefly stripped another publisher, Macmillan, of its ‘buy”’ buttons in 2010,” Streitfeld and Eddy reports. “It seems likely to encourage debate about the enormous power the company wields. No company in American history has exerted the control over the American book market — physical, digital and secondhand — that Amazon does.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wonderful job, inept U.S. DOJ, you’ve emboldened abusive monopolist to run amuck, you clueless wonders.

To paraphrase Scott Turow, the president of the Author’s Guild: The irony of this bites hard: our government has killed real competition in order to save the appearance of competition.

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help. – Ronald Reagan, August 12, 1986

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Anonyme” and “Gk” for the heads up.]

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