Monday, April 14, 2008

The proverbial middleman fights back

An online price war for books has broken out, pitching Amazon against some of Britain’s biggest publishers. From TIMESONLINE:

Amazon is angry that Penguin, Bloomsbury and others are discounting titles on their websites, encouraging customers to buy direct instead of using the online retailer.

There are fears that Amazon may retaliate ... If a publisher discounts a £20 book to £15 online and Amazon has a contract for a 50 per cent discount on the full price, Amazon would pay the company £7.50 instead of £10. Publishers say that this would be unfair and could ultimately drive up prices.

One senior executive said: “It’s very serious. I can’t believe they’d be allowed to get away with it under competition law. Forcing people to increase prices seems to me entirely wrong.”

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