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Hachette book sales restricted by Amazon 'for reasons of its own'

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.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Look, if you're expecting the obvious and the blatant to be weapons of justice here, you are completely wrong. This trial, it's judgement and the judge of it are all based on subjective bias...Apple's (and thusly these publishers) only recourse is another court via appeals. There is no use ever anticipating an "Oh this changes everything!" from Cote.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I'm sure the DOJ will be suing Apple again shortly over this obvious abuse of power by Amazon. :)

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-01-08

    Serves them right ... they acted like such losers when the DOJ lawsuit started, that they all bowed down to pressure by Amazon (the DOJ lawsuit was proxy fight started and funded by Amazon), and gave in within weeks. If they hadn't, Apple would have had a stronger case against Amazon, and who knows, maybe they would have better negotiation options with Amazon. But oh well .... you handed them the monopoly again .... so of course they're going to abuse it. All the power to them.

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