Friday, December 16, 2011

More about that river in Brazil

Amazon is getting some (justly!) bad PR this week. Here's a nice sample from Publishers Weekly:

Publishers and distributors have called the latest negotiations with Amazon the most adversarial to date...Many publishers and distributors said they have not, and cannot, cave to this newest set of demands from Amazon. The fear, though, is that the retailer could take punitive action...Although publishers fear seeing their titles disappear from Amazon--for many in the industry the retailer accounts for 20% to 25% of their business--some say the demands the retailer is making are impossible to meet and would nearly wipe out all of their profits there anyway. Furthermore, as some have noted, changing wholesale terms with Amazon, could present a legal issue...publishers are prevented by the Robinson-Patman Act from favoring one account over another with notably different wholesale terms...

More problematically, for many in the industry, the latest talks with Amazon are being described as less of a dialogue than a dictation of terms. As one source explained, the talks have boiled down to "what publishers can do for Amazon, and not what Amazon can do for publishers." Most ironically, the new terms would allow Amazon to continue to gain market share as it always has: driving book prices down. As one source put it: "If Amazon wants to improve its margins, it should cut back on the discounting."

<idle musing>
As long as Americans worship the dollar more than anything else, Amazon will continue to dominate. But, when you no longer have local businesses to employ people and therefore no money for roads and schools and other items in the public infrastructure, whom are you going to blame? You will have to blame yourself!

As I like to say, Genesis 3 happened...
</idle musing>

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