Folks are still talking about the big showdown between Amazon and Hachette publishing. Both sides appear to have their heels dug in for a good, long fight. With authors and consumers both caught in the middle. I think the battle itself is much less important than the implications it has on future dealings. If Amazon wins, more publishers are likely to have to sit at this same table to negotiate.
As I was looking for information on the subject, I came across this interesting little piece. http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/30/opinion/khan-amazon-hachette-antitrust/index.html?iref=allsearch
About halfway down it starts talking about a law I’ve never heard of, the Robinson-Patman act of 1936. The law says that large retail chains aren’t allowed to use their huge size to bully suppliers into deals that would otherwise be unacceptable. Interesting.
Shades of the old Walmart stories came immediately to my mind, but somehow this is different. Kind of seems the same.
Either way, the thing that worries me the most about this whole debacle is Amazon actually devaluing the worth of books in general. I’m not saying inflation shouldn’t increase prices like it does with everything else, but I’d hate to see prices go down so much that the publishing industry would have to produce fewer and fewer books each year in order to turn a profit. This would also mean fewer and fewer new authors would be picked up in favor of known authors, who likely would feel greater and greater demands on their work.
It’s really a sad situation any way you look at it, but this is what happens when one store/company owns such a huge share of any given market. I shudder what to think of what will happen if Comcast’s merger with Time Warner Cable is approved. America’s broadband is already woefully behind most of the world is almost every metric you can think of. And with even less competition than they already have(which many of you know is zero) they’ll be even less likely to innovate. But that is another story.
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See You in the Future,
J S Eaton