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Amazon Confirms Hachette Spat Is To "Get a Better Deal" 211

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-book-for-you dept.
tlhIngan (30335) writes "Last week we heard that Amazon was withdrawing Hachette books from its virtual shelves including allowing preorders of the new JK Rowling book. Amazon has responded to these allegations, and confirms that yes, they are purposefully preventing pre-orders and lowering stock in order to get a better deal from Hachette. Amazon recommends that in the meantime, customers either buy a used or new copy from their zShops or buy from a competitor. Amazon admits there is nothing wrong with Hachette's business dealings and that they are a generally good supplier." Here's Hachette's response to the Amazon statement.
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Amazon Confirms Hachette Spat Is To "Get a Better Deal"

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  • by careysb (566113) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @08:35PM (#47115347)

    Guess I'll be broadening my shopping horizons.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @08:39PM (#47115371)

    FTFA:

    Amazon indicates that it considers books to be like any other consumer good. They are not.

    My rebuttal: Yes they are.

    The entire reason we have a first sale doctrine is because a publisher was trying to artificially inflate the price of a book.

  • Here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @08:58PM (#47115521)

    I'll just leave this here...

    http://booksprung.com/dear-hac... [booksprung.com]

    Thanks Amazon ;-)

  • I recommend... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @09:00PM (#47115533)

    ...that consumers dump Amazon in favor of Powell's Books [powells.com].

  • by LocalH (28506) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @09:10PM (#47115623) Homepage

    But things that are considered consumer goods, like many technologies, are not completely fungible by that standard. Sure, you have devices that can serve the same purpose, but in most cases they're not really interchangeable without some major changes in what you're doing. You can't really replace a Wii U with an Xbox One and consider them "completely fungible".

  • by lgw (121541) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @09:20PM (#47115693) Journal

    Except Wal-Mart's prices are damn low over time. They can sustain lower prices than just about anyone else because they have the best logistics chain in the world - really amazing tech there. Also partly because they sell low-quality versions of familiar products, of course, but apparently consumers are just fine with that.

    Face it: hatred for Wal-Mart is a tribal identification thing, not a rational economic argument.

    The interesting fight is yet to come. Eventually, Wal-Mart and Amazon will be in direct competition. Bring popcorn.

  • To Summarize (Score:4, Interesting)

    by matunos (1587263) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @10:57PM (#47116227)

    Both parties admit they're in contract renegotiations. So the current public spat appears to be about whether a retailer should be obliged to continue to stock the goods under negotiation for resale without a contract, because... authors?

  • by ArmoredDragon (3450605) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @11:40PM (#47116465)

    This is quite false, and in many respects is a red herring.

    The first problem with this argument is that there is no set time period for how much something will last. The second is that at the same time, marginal reductions in production cost don't necessarily equate to reduced durability. Generally when they refer to lower quality, at least in the case of Wal-Mart, they're referring to a substitute for a cheaper material in all or part of the product, which generally results in lower aesthetics and has nothing to do with durability.

    Take for example, substituting leather for vinyl. Vinyl actually carries a few advantages over leather (for example, it is far more tolerant of getting wet, more tolerant of direct sunlight exposure, and less likely to crack or fade.) It also carries a few disadvantages in that it generally feels somehow rubbery/artificial and not as "soft," in addition to being more likely to cause you to sweat if it sits against your skin. The cheaper "quality" product will be made with vinyl rather than leather, but as for which one expires sooner depends on how the product ends up being used. In a more wet environment, the vinyl product is guaranteed to last longer.

    Indeed, the defining characteristics of modern manufacturing are for cheaper products while having fewer defects. This is called Lean Principles. Arguably by cutting out some of the more expensive manufacturing processes, you also reduce the chances for error, simultaneously reducing cost as well as increasing quality. Historically (over the last 60 years) this argument has proven to be accurate. Yes there are some products that are so horribly built that they have poor endurance, however that has more to do with poor manufacturing techniques than cost of production. I've seen plenty of expensive products have the same characteristic, take for example the mac mini's which are often built from notoriously bad parts (meanwhile Apple fans tend to praise them anyways.)

  • by Shazback (1842686) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @07:35AM (#47117913)
    "Mathematics, Fashion, Automotive industries have no copyrights or design patents and yet are very profitable"

    You might have been lured in by a very bad TEDx talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/johanna_blakley_lessons_from_fashion_s_free_culture) but this is pretty much entirely false.

    Mathematics is not profitable, by pretty much any metric imaginable. Lots of things that use mathematics are very profitable (pretty much the entire IT sector and any heavily engineered business), but mathematics itself isn't. In order to translate mathematics into goods and services, a significant amount of work is required, and whilst the mathematics itself can't be protected under IP laws, the product of the work put into making the service or good can. Programs can be copyrighted, goods or services that leverage mathematical properties can be patented if they meet the required criteria, and so forth.

    The automotive industry is a hot-bed of IP protection. Ford alone has been assigned over 6 000 patents in the US, looking only at the records from 1979 onwards (http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=0&f=S&l=50&d=PTXT&RS=AN%2FFord&Refine=Refine+Search&Refine=Refine+Search&Query=AN%2FFord+and+Global+and+Technologies). Toyota, VW and all the other major automobile manufacturers have similarly huge patent stashes that they guard preciously. In the past decades they have been more aggressive with design patents in order to stop aftermarket parts makers from successfully entering the replacement parts market. Design patents are ubiquitous, and pretty much every single car since the 70s has a few... Porsche (http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect2=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN/D673484), Toyota(http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect2=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN/D688160), Ford (http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect2=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN/D488405) just to name one in each major market.

    As for fashion, well it's hardly a brilliant example of a "beneficiary" industry when it is the sector that pursues the most aggressive out-sourcing and mechanisation strategies. Buying things made in the USA isn't always easy, but for clothes it's almost impossible. A few companies that are pushing the high end of the market manage it, but that's hardly a ringing endorsement of a sector that is in great health.

    But beyond the obvious financial difficulties that many fashion companies have had over the past decade or two, a more potent criticism is the actual lack of innovation that fashion has brought over the past century or even two. In 1930 IT didn't even exist as a sector, and pretty much every aspect of our lives have been transformed. Cooking has seen the meteoric rise of the microwave oven and the freezer, whilst fridges became basic home appliances. Communications went from the radio to TV and online broadcasting, whilst telephones have become mobile personal assistants. Cars have seen vast transformations in performance, variety and ease of use. Air travel has gone from a luxury reserved to a prestigious and wealthy elite to a popular mode of transport. Electricity has definitively finished its transformation from a convenient novelty to a base necessity of achieving any decent standard of living. Plastics have gone from being synonymous with bakelite to a whole group of materials with ever more varied properties...

    The changes in pretty much every facet of life have been huge thanks to sustained innovation over the past century. What has fashion (or even apparel in a larger sense) brought to the table? Very little I fear. New materials have been brought to the ma

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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