Feeds

Amazon offers Blighty's publishing industry 'assisted suicide'

Do you see a pattern here?

Top three mobile application threats

Amazon wants to dictate book prices, and even print copies of publishers' books itself, a report in trade mag Bookseller suggests. UK publishers are, we're told, none too happy.

Over in the US, Amazon is already locked in battle with Hachette, the first publisher whose terms with Amazon are coming up for renegotiation: Amazon has stopped taking preorders for Hachette titles, citing delivery times of weeks or months. It's also kneecapped German publisher Bonnier Media the same way, prompting a complaint to the German competition authority.

We're told the new contracts demand payment for strong placement on the website, and Amazon also wants to dictate the price for the books industry-wide by forbidding suppliers from offering rival retailers lower prices.

Bookseller editor Philip Jones told the BBC that if supply contracts were accepted on such terms, it would be "a form of assisted suicide for the industry".

Amazon's reported demand to control the right to copy, when it wants, is regarded as the equivalent of coming for your first-born. In practical terms, publishers fear readers will blame them for any cock-ups caused by Amazon's print-on-demand machines pumping out tomes.

Publishers are on watch by competition authorities for five years following the settlement of the Apple e-book price-fixing case. Apple had merely promised publishers not to sell books at a loss, and retail prices briefly rose from $8 to $10 before falling back. The Cupertino giant and the publishers involved were later accused of harming consumers.

The settlement effectively granted Amazon a distribution monopoly – or monopsony – which it can now use for further leverage.

Meanwhile, some independent music labels have accused Google of attempting to control music royalties using its dominant YouTube service. Contract details emerged earlier this week.

Amazon has not commented on the Bookseller's report. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.