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

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 Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @08:57PM (#47115511)

    Guess I'll be broadening my shopping horizons.

    This is how all major contact negotiations work. I'm involved with them all the time and this is almost assuredly the publishers fault.

    The rule is, you have the contract done and signed before the previous one expires. If you don't, it puts you in a precarious situation... like this. If the previous contract was still in place, Amazon couldn't do what they're doing. All of the pricing, etc... is set in the contract. It's very very precise language. Once the contract runs out, if they haven't come to an agreement yet, it's standard for the one or both of the companies involved to flex their muscle, just like amazon did here. The message is clear "You have no leverage over us. We can just stop selling your product, we still keep making money, oh look at your stock price..." etc... If Hachett doesn't like it, they can stop doing business with amazon, or agree to the terms.

    And before you get all sad for Hatchett, you should know they're a $2 billion company, that contain parts of the publishing of CBS, Disney and Time Warner. They are not the friendly do-good book publisher you think they are.

  • by JDAustin ( 468180 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @12:22AM (#47116641)

    Was hatred of Standard Oil irrational?

    Actually, it was somewhat.

    In 1865, the price of kerosene was 58 cents/gallon and Standard oil had almost no share of the market. By 1870, Standard Oil had a 4% share of the market and kerosene prices were at 26cents/gallon. In 1880, Standard had a 90% share of the market. Kerosene prices were now at 9cents a gallon. After a decade of 90% market share, kerosene prices were down to 7cents/gallon.

    Why? Efficiency.

    Rockefeller did such things as purchasing entire forests so he could make his own barrels. The result is a barrel price drop from $3 to $1. Rockefeller also offered guaranteed daily traffic to the railroads using Standard-owned cars, loaded and unloaded in Standard owned facilities. The result was a lowering of transport costs from $900k per trip to $300k per trip.

    When it came to take-overs of competitors, Rockefeller opened the books and made a reasonable offer as he wanted talent and assets. If they refused, then he would start undercutting on price (while still turning a profit).

    Now Standard Oil wasn't broken up until 1911, but due to competitors copying Rockefellers methods, its market share was at 65% and falling. Standard Oil didn't stop competition, it only forced them to become better.

  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @02:46AM (#47117107) Homepage

    They were more elaborate. Here's the entire paragraph ouf of which' context the sensence was taken

    Authors, with whom we at Hachette have been partners for nearly two centuries, engage in a complex and difficult mission to communicate with readers. In addition to royalties, they are concerned with audience, career, culture, education, art, entertainment, and connection. By preventing its customers from connecting with these authors’ books, Amazon indicates that it considers books to be like any other consumer good. They are not.

    You may agree of disagree, but do not hide behind lies.

It seems intuitively obvious to me, which means that it might be wrong. -- Chris Torek