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Amazon's heavy-handed anti-consumer tactics


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Showing 1-25 of 430 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 24, 2014 7:00:27 AM PDT
Esther Smith says:
I am disgusted and disappointed by Amazon's blocking of J.K. Rowling's and others' books from Hachette and publishers with whom Amazon has decided to feud. This is outrageous behavior and reflects poorly on Amazon and its management, and is punitive to its customers.

Posted on May 24, 2014 7:02:51 AM PDT
True. Amazon is still trying to drive publishers out of business and leave us with only their own imprints. Which would be horrid.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 7:20:02 AM PDT
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Posted on May 24, 2014 7:24:12 AM PDT
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/authors-publishers-say-feud-with-amazon-has-escalated/2014/05/23/03bea8d6-e2b5-11e3-810f-764fe508b82d_story.html

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 7:24:45 AM PDT
Actually, this reflects well on Amazon and its management. They are playing hardball to get lower prices from their vendors.
That is the way a well run business operates. Readers will benefit from lower prices if Amazon is successful.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 7:26:49 AM PDT
How exactly will readers benefit if well written and edited books are no longer being produced? If you want Walmart prices you get Walmart quality.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 7:33:37 AM PDT
Publishers could meet Amazon's demands by becoming more efficient. That does not require any quality reduction.
Do you really believe a business like publishing that has been around for centuries could not operate more efficiently?

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 7:43:19 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 7:54:38 AM PDT
Tim W. says:
Amazon and Hachette have been negotiating since last November. Hachette decided to change tactics and enlisted help from consistently ADS (Amazon Derangement Syndrome) afflicted sites like the NYT and PW to fight their negotiations in public. The fact that Amazon has removed pre-order buttons from Hachette books seems to indicate the old contract has nearly expired. When it does, the buy buttons will vanish from current Hachette books (ebooks & DTBs) as well. Without a contract, they can't legally sell them. If you think these are new tactics, B&N used similar tactics last year with Simon & Schuster. It's business.

Posted on May 24, 2014 8:09:16 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
I kinda thought everyone in the Kindle users community would be on Amazon's side on this because if Amazon wins, the price of Hachette books would be reduced

Posted on May 24, 2014 8:13:33 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
here's a post from an author who was impacted by the exact same situation last year between Simon & Schuster and Barnes & Noble when his books became unavailable from B&N

http://www.hughhowey.com/amazon-and-hachette-go-to-war/

in other words, it's nothing new and it's probably only in the news because it's a slow news period

Posted on May 24, 2014 8:26:38 AM PDT
Actually customers benefit most when there are multiple, strong competitors and no single competitor can dominate the marketplace. I support lower prices and price shop as much as anyone. But I don't approve of what Amazon is doing. I am on my third Kindle, but am planning to buy a different brand of tablet e-reader to free myself from Amazon's closed environment and control. That way if Amazon tries to screw Hachette or other publishers and authors I won't be captive to their decisions.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 8:38:28 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
since you didn't read my linked article - Amazon wants to pay Hachette and authors the same amount, but have the ability to discount (yes, a benefit to you) books as much as they want to

"What I find fascinating is the increased coverage this time around. The NYT and Publishers Weekly have published scathing reports accusing Amazon of being a bully. I would have loved some of that directed at B&N last year. You see, Barnes & Noble was holding authors and readers hostage in order to wring more cash out of publishers, because they are having a hard time making that money by actually selling books. They got a pass for this. What is Amazon up to?

The best guess is that e-book discounting is at the heart of the negotiations. Amazon wants the ability to discount e-books as low as it likes, even losing money on the titles if they choose. The publisher (and author) get their full cut, but Amazon takes a beating. This is likely to out-compete other e-book distributors and to continue the adoption of e-books. Publishers want to keep e-book prices as high as possible. In dealing with my own publishers, I have learned that most of this pressure comes from brick and mortar bookstores, who are left out of the e-book revolution. (The PW article backs this up).

Bookstores threaten to not carry a publisher's books if they price the e-book too low. Publishers demand that Amazon charge more for their e-books or limit the discounting, even though it doesn't impact how much publishers or authors earn. So what you have is a company fighting for lower prices for customers, while keeping the pay for publishers and authors the same, and they are evil. While B&N holds publishers hostage just to rake in more cash to present customers not with what bookstore employees wish to highlight, but what they are paid to highlight. The backwardness of this PR war are baffling to me. Until you look at where it originates: PW is a weekly rag for bookstores. The NYT made their stance known when they stopped including the e-book bestsellers in their Sunday Book Review. The masses get their info from the traditional machine, and so they side with mafia tactics on the one hand and cry out against a distributor trying to keep their prices down."

and that is from an author who was originally self-published, but who then signed a contract with a major publisher and he's coming out more on Amazon's side than on the publisher's

Posted on May 24, 2014 11:22:09 AM PDT
Today's NY Times has an article on this issue:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/23/amazon-escalates-its-battle-against-hachette/?_php=true&_type=blogs&ref=business&_r=0

I'm unhappy with what Amazon is doing in not accepting shipments. It's hurting authors. Yes, I like low prices but I also want to see authors protected. I worry this situation could get worse. And...... I think Amazon is right on the edge of breaking the law or maybe over the edge.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 11:28:37 AM PDT
CatChat says:
ok, if the NY Times had an article then it all must be true and the opinion of the author of the article is the only one that matters. I understand completely now.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 11:51:44 AM PDT
Jazzy_Jeff says:
Go Amazon! Stick it to the publishers!

Posted on May 24, 2014 12:03:50 PM PDT
Anth J says:
Believe it or not, a lot of the pressure and anti-Amazon focus is coming from Wall Street, where there are still a mass of short options institutional buyers are looking to have to cover in June. They have been spinning up as much negative energy as possible in every way imaginable since January (despite some big positives at Amazon this year, in actuality), with the premeditated intention of driving the stock price as low as possible to net the greatest profits for their stock plays, via manipulating the communal gestalt through media outlets. This is why there are such concentrated efforts to deride business as usual negotiations right now, for example -- but only when done by Amazon, as opposed to when done by other sellers. I hope some of this pressure of the year finally backs off late in the summer... but there is always the next stock play on the horizon... so we shall see.

Left-handed attacks are nothing new against Amazon... for years the consumers have realized that Amazon in general takes care of the customer, regardless of the teeth gnashing and contrived criticisms launched at it by those who would redirect sales toward competitors instead. It is up to the customers to decipher and decode the bombastic whines and manipulations from the true. Remember, just weeks ago many of us received antitrust settlement funds, because forces had illegally aligned to INCREASE and manipulate the price of media we purchased, and Amazon was of course on the right side and consumers' side of that equation then as well.

Nothing to see here... move along... these are not the droids... yadda yadda! Only the weaker minds can be affected by either the dark or the light side of the force... best to guard yourselves against either and clear your minds of all external control... believe your own eyes and experiences.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 12:07:47 PM PDT
loriltx says:
Not necessarily. It could be that Amazon would just make more profit on the book.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 12:27:19 PM PDT
The Artist says:
Oh, the story must be posted on Facebook now.

Read a more balance view of the situation here:

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/amazon-s-not-a-monopolist----that-would-be-the-book-publishers-160922647.html

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 12:30:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 24, 2014 12:30:46 PM PDT
The Artist says:
The NY Times article is slanted and not completely truthful. Do you not think that the NYT benefits by taking the side of big publishers? If you don't, you shouldn't be posting on any forum.

Read a different opinion here:

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/amazon-s-not-a-monopolist----that-would-be-the-book-publishers-160922647.html

Posted on May 24, 2014 12:32:51 PM PDT
Charlie says:
The only monopoly involved in this dispute is Hachette. They have the monopoly on the books. You can only buy those books from somebody that has bought them from Hachette. If Amazon doesn't sell Hachette books, I can always get them from Barnes and Noble.

I find it humorous when people complain about Amazon bullying the sole source of a series of books, and that source (Hachette) recently settled a lawsuit the US government filed against it for using its monopoly power to fix prices. Amazon was the main force working against the price fixing.

Interestingly, most people that have Walmart Derangment Syndrome or Amazon Derangement Syndrome are big fans of Apple. Apple was the driving factor in the whole anti-trust conspiracy with publishers like Hachette.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 1:15:42 PM PDT
Tim W. says:
This is a far better article:
http://www.thepassivevoice.com/05/2014/is-hachette-playing-dirty-tricks-in-their-contract-dispute-with-amazon/

In this one, PG refers to Nate Hoffelder's post showing how Hachette's glacially slow delivery schedule is at least partially responsible for delayed shipping. Amazon is not delaying shipment of books they have in stock. How do I know that? All Hachette books aren't delayed, only some are backordered. Another point seems clear, Amazon is not ordering large shipments of different titles to compensate for Hachette's laggy shipping. They are (now) ordering smaller quantities as they run out.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 1:25:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 24, 2014 1:30:11 PM PDT
rcarey22 says:
I agree with Charlie - who can forget the price-fixing.

I happen to like Amazon - I purchase a variety of things from them, i.e., software, electronics, music, etc. as it's one stop shopping, convenient and I generally get a good deal.

Therefore, if the publisher in this case Hachette, is trying to keep prices high then I wouldn't be purchasing one of their books anyway - that's where my public library comes into play.

In my opinion there are many sources to obtain Hachette Books, so if Amazon isn't carrying them, buy them elsewhere, seems pretty simple to me.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 1:51:27 PM PDT
King Al says:
Considering that Hachette illegally conspired with Apple to increase ebook prices and routinely screws its own authors, Hachette deserves whatever it gets.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2014 1:53:47 PM PDT
King Al says:
Did you also complain when Hachette and the other Agency Model publishers illegally conspired with Apple to screw Amazon?
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  60
Total posts:  430
Initial post:  May 24, 2014
Latest post:  Jun 9, 2014

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