Amazon Declares War on Publishers

Amazon has taken its beef with Hachette Book Group, one of the country’s largest publishing companies, to a new level. Just weeks after Amazon’s tactics to discourage customers from purchasing Hachette books—charging more for them, suggesting readers might prefer to read something else, and saying they will take weeks to be delivered—came to light, the book emporium is now refusing orders for new Hachette books. The battle of the books apparently began as the result of a failed contract negotiation, but it’s not the only publisher to feel Amazon’s wrath. In 2010, Amazon temporarily removed “buy” buttons from thousands of books published by Macmillan, and it’s also recently started delaying orders of books by Bonnier, a large German publisher. These latest moves illustrates Amazon’s unprecedented power and is likely to spark debate over how it should be wielded.