Amazon Has Escalated Its Scorched-Earth War With A Big Book Publisher

Amazon is actively refusing orders and discouraging people from buying books from the publisher Hachette, the New York Times reports. The pressure tactics reportedly stem from failed contract negotiations between Amazon and Hachette; authors have been feeling the pressure for months.

One of the books affected is Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, a book that Amazon apparently didn’t like much. Amazon has listed it as “unavailable” on its website. (Readers, however, seem to like the book—it currently has a 4.5 star rating.)

It’s not just Stone’s book that’s suffering. Amazon has started refusing orders for other Hachette titles, including J.K. Rowling’s new novel. The Amazon listing pages for some other Hachette books have disappeared entirely. These tactics follow months in which Amazon has trimmed customer discounts, extended shipping times and sometimes suggested alternative titles in order to disadvantage Hachette titles.

It wasn’t that long ago that Amazon was on the defensive. Last year, Apple was found guilty of conspiring with publishers to raise e-book prices in order to undercut Amazon.

Original image by Carl Malamud on Flickr; edited by Selena Larson for ReadWrite

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