Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Here’s how Amazon self-destructs - Salon.com

Here’s how Amazon self-destructs - Salon.com

If Amazon puts bookstores out of business, it will destroy the main way readers learn about new books to buy


Here's how Amazon self-destructsEnlargeJeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. (Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton/SeanPavonePhoto via Shutterstock/Salon)
By the time a federal judge ruled last week that Apple had illegally colluded with five of the so-called Big Six publishers to raise e-book prices, just about no one in the book business was surprised. All the publishers named in the lawsuit had already taken a long look at the uphill battle and the crippling legal bills and decided to settle. (Unlike Apple, book publishers have less cash than the United States Treasury.) The ruling seemed to be just the latest uplifting story for Amazon, whose dominance Apple and the publishers had been trying to curtail until the Department of Justice stepped in.

lso last week, Amazon’s closest competitor in bookselling, Barnes & Noble, announced the resignation of its CEO, William Lynch, and said it would not name a successor, rarely a good sign. Already in a distant second place, Barnes & Noble has recently seen its woes deepen significantly. The company has been closing stores and announced in June that it would close still more and stop making Nook color tablets. It reported net losses of more than $1 million per day.

With challenges to Amazon’s power wilting fast, the company’s stock closed the week at an all-time high. It is not so obvious, however, that the Seattle behemoth is sitting pretty, at least when it comes to bookselling. Amazon could end up being victimized by its own phenomenal success.  Read more...

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