Feeds

Amazon swallows UK online bookseller

The Book Depository assimilated by a Borg depository

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The world of online book retailing is about to get that little bit less competitive, with Amazon announcing that it’s reached agreement to buy UK seller The Book Depository.

Perhaps recognizing the importance of the brand, the 900-pound gorilla has faithfully promised that it’s not going to squash The Book Depository brand. Customer disquiet has also led The Book Depository to reassure people that it will continue to operate independently.

That independence, users hope, will include maintaining its free delivery to 100 countries and its “long tail” approach of resurrecting out-of-print titles under its Dodo Press imprint.

However, with Amazon’s margins under pressure – the company has warned its margin could fall to below 3 percent of sales in the current quarter – it’s almost certain to bring a magnifying glass to anything in The Book Depository’s business model that looks like over-servicing its customers.

There’s no word yet on whether the UK’s the Office of Fair Trading is likely to raise any competition concerns.

That competition impact will stretch far beyond the US and UK. While data isn’t available for individual territories, Amazon and The Book Depository stand as practically the only international online bookseller brands of note in countries like Australia. In many countries, the merger will create an effective monopoly.

In the Australian market, administrators for collapsed private equity company REDgroup, which bought and gutted the Angus & Robertson and Borders retail chains before collapsing earlier this year, have sold the company’s online business to the Australian arm of Penguin’s owner Pearson.

When REDgroup sunk under the weight of excessive debt and a long program of customer alienation, pundits in Australia pointed the finger at Amazon and The Book Depository for eating the local retailer’s lunch. Under a single business, the twin international giants will present an even more formidable challenge to localized retailers. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.