updated 01:08 pm EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
Preorders for Warner movies become available again on Amazon
Amazon has started to allow preorders of upcoming Warner Bros. DVD and Blu-ray releases on its online store. The two companies are reportedly close to completing negotiations over DVD pricing, a dispute which saw the retailer blocking the early sales of some prominent movies, including The Lego Movie and Transcendence, in an attempt to gain some form of leverage over the media company.
Sources of the Wall Street Journal say Amazon has been seeking "more favorable financial terms" from Warner, though specific details are unknown. Amazon's DVD sales usually provide the retailer with either a slim profit or no profit at all, as it has to directly compete with other major retailers like Wal-Mart, with a lowering in pricing potentially allowing Amazon to make money on sales again.
The Lego Movie
The report claims such negotiations have occurred in the past, but this is the first instance where Amazon actively blocked preorders of movies.
While the movie-related sales ban has been short, Amazon is continuing to perform a similar tactic against one publishing group. Sales of Hachette books continue to be heavily delayed, with preorders for books still being flatly refused. Amazon admitted it was doing so to help its negotiations, and at one point suggested those requiring Hachette books quickly to "purchase a new or used version from one of our third-party sellers or from one of our competitors." The company claimed the negotiations are made on "behalf of customers," with the term negotiations being an "essential business practice" critical to "keeping service and value high for customers in the medium and long term."