updated 10:22 am EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
Hachette confirms delays by Amazon, not by Hachette ordering system
Book publisher Hachette is claiming that Amazon is throttling availability of its books for sale on the e-retailer's site. The claims by Hachette belie arguments made by Amazon in Judge Denise Cote's court during the Apple e-book anti-trust conspiracy trial , in which Amazon executives testified that Amazon never uses its market position as the dominant bookseller in the US to negotiate better terms -- despite ample evidence to the contrary.
"We have been asked legitimate questions [by customers] about why many of our books are at present marked out of stock with relatively long estimated shipping times on the Amazon website, in contrast to immediate availability on other websites and in stores," said Hachette spokeswoman Sophie Cottrell. "We are satisfying all Amazon's orders promptly."
E-book availability of other publishers doesn't seem to be affected. Amazon has previously used its dominant position in the industry to forcibly re-negotiate terms of a deal, sometimes well after a contract has been signed with a publisher.
Hachette was one of the publishers named in the US Department of Justice action against Apple and other publishing houses. It was one of the first to settle with the DoJ, which through its prosecution of Apple effectively restored Amazon's dominance on e-book sales.