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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57 Comments

    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.

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