Hachette: Amazon delaying delivery of some books

“Amazon has begun discouraging customers from buying books by Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen Colbert, J. D. Salinger and other popular writers, a flexing of its muscle as a battle with a publisher spills into the open,” David Streitfeld reports for The New York Times. “The Internet retailer, which controls more than a third of the book trade in the United States, is marking many books published by Hachette Book Group as not available for at least two or three weeks.”

“A Hachette spokeswoman said on Thursday that the publisher was striving to keep Amazon supplied but that the Internet giant was delaying shipments ‘for reasons of their own,'” Streitfeld reports. “Hachette is one of the largest New York houses, publishing under the Little, Brown and Grand Central imprints, among many others.”

“The affected books are a mixture of new and old,” Streitfeld reports. “Publishers say the bookseller, whose shares have tumbled 25 percent this year as investors itch for profits, is determined to squeeze as much margin out of its suppliers as possible.”

“For at least a decade, Amazon has not been shy about throwing its weight around with publishers, demanding bigger discounts and more time to pay its bills. When a publisher balked, it would withdraw the house’s titles from its recommendation algorithms. ‘Typically, it was about 30 days before they’d come back and say, ‘Ouch, how do we make this work?’’ an Amazon buyer told the journalist Brad Stone in his book about the company, The Everything Store,” Streitfeld reports. “Sometimes, though, more action was needed. The bookseller pulled all the ‘buy’ buttons for Macmillan books in 2010 in a dispute over e-book pricing.”

Read more in the full article here.

Read also “Amazon Pushes Yet Another Publisher Around” via Slate here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve been saying for quite some time now: The current U.S. DOJ is plainly inept.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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    1. probably not, but we, as consumers can……

      amazon is in trouble, that is why they are putting on the squeeze…. so,…. turn about is fair play.

      if we as consumers cease, orradically cut back on our buying thru amazon, their stock goes into freefall. that will get their attention on the double quick and changes will be sure to follow.

      we can make them a more responsible corporation, to their vendors and their employees, but mr. bezos and his stockholders have to feel the pain first. and those first pin-pricks of discomfort are making themselves felt.

  1. Amazon got away with murder in judge Cote’ court with the Apple bogus accusation, they got an open line to the powers of corruption and figure nothing will stick to them, so why not abuse their power all the way? Bezos you is a bozo, there’s no escaping karma.

    1. Two thoughts:

      1) I believe Apple will prevail over Amazon (and DOJ) in the e-book case at the Appeals Court level. These judges seem to have a much better command of the issues and the law. For example, the Appeals Court just recently sided with Oracle over Google for infringing JAVA code. (I was totally surprised when the original verdict sided with Google.) Ultimately there is hope that reason will prevail.

      2) BREAK THE CHAINS! Buy from your local and independent stores. To order books online, try “exlibris.com” as an alternative to Amazon. I think it is a consortium of small bookstore owners.

  2. MDN, I caught you. You are wrong!

    “As we’ve been saying for quite some time now: The current U.S. DOJ is plainly inept.”

    Our Atty General, Mr. Holder has clearly stated he will decide which laws he enforces and when.

    That is not ineptitude, that is simply unconstitutional acts of a person behaving like a little tyrant dictator.

  3. And yet Apple is the one saddled with a compliance monitor. Funny how that all worked out. Amazon won’t start stealing from us until it is done stealing from its suppliers.

    1. Booksellers are going to have to unite around their own retail bookselling website, or they will be squeezed into a marginalized spot, like the proverbial Barnes & Noble.

      Without multiple good channels on the internet, I think a seller loses leverage.

  4. Agreed. The DO”Justice” hacheted the wrong companies and this is the reality of what a monopoly really is. SHAME ON THE US GOVERNMENT. Or maybe they just do not pay enough to get employees and judges who deserve the titles and positions of power.

  5. oh goody, next up: a good ol’ fashioned book burning, then maybe Amazon can lynch a few librarians!..the future is bright here in the Gulag Americana. Thanks Obama Messiah and our beloved Eric Holder, fearless defender of justice!

      1. “Anti” — such an empty and facile position. Shared by such great thinkers as the staff of Fox, islamic lunatics and botvijerk. So much harder to be constructive.

  6. For at least a decade, Amazon has not been shy about throwing its weight around with publishers, demanding bigger discounts and more time to pay its bills

    And #MyStupidGovernment PROSECUTED APPLE for competing with Amazon. WTF.

    1. Or buy Apple. They have a very nice e-bookstore with most of the same titles as Amazon. I still buy from Amazon because they have stuff I can’t find locally, but I don’t buy books there anymore.

  7. I do appreciate the detailed analysis, Sean. It clears up a few things.

    You refer to botvinnik’s vitriol. But in every case, it is justified. Who would not bridle at a brazen assault on one’s individual liberties?

    Should one go meekly? I can’t believe you would value conformity above all.

  8. You didn’t get my point, hannah.

    I’m saying that most of botvijerk’s vitriol is not directed at politicians or our corporate overlords, at all. It is directed, at the drop of a hat, at just about anybody and everybody who says ANYTHING, no matter how innocuous, about any topic.

    He seems to have very little capability to say, “I disagree, because a, b and c.” Rather it is, “Fuck you, you idiot.”

    1. Some of the posts disappeared, continuity of the thread is shot, and I can’t remember exactly what we were talking about. I will take your word. Still, I believe botvinnik is a greater patriot than parrot. I threw out my Miss Manners hat some while ago.

      1. Well, I gave a list of a few of his obscenity and insult ridden posts.
        He replied with obscenity and insult.
        MDN removed them both — which I think is FANTASTIC.

        The essence is:
        1. You suggested every tyrant deserves a gadfly.
        2. I said that most of his postings aren’t the “political gadfly” (which shouldn’t be here, anyway), but, rather, mere empty obscenity and vitriolic insult to anybody who says anything he doesn’t like… which is nearly everyone.
        3. I further suggested that even if his views were insightful and useful, that does NOTHING to excuse his behavior — any more than having insightful political views and an ability to engage in clever repartee excuses the behavior a wife batterer or schoolyard bully.

        1. Thanks.

          But it’s in your hands.

          As I’ve said before, if you stop being a nasty, poisonous jerk, you won’t be seeing any comments from me to you or about you, except about Macs, iPhones and various tech matters.

        2. Oops. That “it’s in your hands” should have been connected to the botvinnik post above hannah.

          Hannah – so we have no disagreement about the nature of what he does, just very different views of the percentages.

          re ‘fsck’ — My post that got deleted gave several examples from one day that dramatically contradicts that idea. Until recently, his incessant obscenity-laden insults and shrivel-hearted nastiness were so constant that I have wondered if he is in the earlier (i.e. still functional) stages of Alzheimer’s.
          I do not say that as a way to insult him… I mean it quite simply and factually.

        3. Sean, thank you for taking me seriously. I accept what you say. I know you go after others who violate language and protocol — a voluntary sacrifice of your time for the greater good. My statistical sense of botvinnik’s crimes though are at odds with yours. For example, note that he usually employs the unix euphemism fsck (file system check) unless poked with a stick.

  9. DOJ has no clue that Amazon is the book monopoly NOT APPLE!
    This is just the start of it if Amazon keeps it the way it is it will get worse.
    Maybe the key here is to boycott buying from Amazon to show them the customer is always RIGHT!

  10. Why wait for Amazon?

    B&N will probably have it in stock and ready to ship or pick up in a store.

    Personally I put B&N ahead of Amazon because I believe B&N is the only thing stopping Amazon from crushing all other bookstores.

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