From a Summary of a National Public Radio Report:
Booksellers and publishers are worried that Amazon is going to devour their industry. The giant online retailer seems to have its hands in all aspects of the business, from publishing books to selling them — and that has some in the book world wondering if there is any end to Amazon’s influence.
Publishers have long complained about Amazon’s pricing policies; it sold e-books at cut-rate prices in order to win customers for the Kindle. Now, explains Joe Wikert, general manager and publisher at O’Reilly Media, Amazon is undercutting competitors by selling e-readers, like the new Kindle Fire, at a loss.
“The word ‘predator’ is pretty strong, and I don’t use it loosely,” he says, “but … I could have sworn we had laws against predatory pricing. I just don’t understand why that’s not an issue — because that’s got to be hurting other device makers out there in trying to capture this market.”
Melville Publishing is trying to develop a number of products to help booksellers. One of them is the “shelf talker,” a digital display that helps customers browse through print books in a brick-and-mortar store but buy e-books from that store’s website instead of Amazon.
The complete report runs 4:23.
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