Feeds

Amazon swallows UK online bookseller

The Book Depository assimilated by a Borg depository

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
'Aaaah FFS, 'amazeballs' has made it into the OXFORD DICTIONARY'
Plus: 'EE, how shocking, ANOTHER problem I face with your service'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.