Feeds

Amazon offers Blighty's publishing industry 'assisted suicide'

Do you see a pattern here?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
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'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
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
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.