Tags: Amazon | Washington Post | Hachette | publishing

Amazon to its own WashPost: No Comment on Book Dispute

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 02:42 PM

By Lisa Degnen

No one should ever accuse Jeff Bezos of playing favorites. His office wouldn’t even give a comment to the newspaper he owns, The Washington Post.

According to a media blog on Politico, a reporter from The Post had called to get the company’s perspective on a fight between Amazon and the Hachette Publishing House.

Hachette has accused Amazon, the world's largest bookseller, of hiking prices and delaying deliveries of its books so that consumers will stop buying them, according to the report.
When writing about the feud for the Post, reporter Steven Mufson called the parent company and was told that Amazon "would not comment." Then the blog says he tried again on a second story and didn't even get his call returned.

The disagreement between the two companies was first reported May 8 in The New York Times.

That report said Amazon was discouraging people from buying books by Robin Roberts, James Patterson, Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen Colbert, J. D. Salinger and other Hachette authors in a dispute over money.

"Publishers say the bookseller, whose shares have tumbled 25 percent this year as investors itch for profits, is determined to squeeze as much margin out of its suppliers as possible," the Times reported.

According to the newspaper, Amazon is exercising its influence by requiring bigger discounts and a lax schedule to pay its bills. When a publisher like Hachette objects, Amazon removes those books from its recommended list.

Amazon also refused comment to The New York Times.

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