Amazon.com, Inc. NASDAQ:AMZN, emboldened by it’s nearly 50 percent control of the book retail sales and associated arm twisting of the most important publishers in democratic society, is now turning its aggressive stare to a traditional powerhouse in cultural communication: The Walt Disney Company NYSE:DIS.
Amazon refusing to accept pre-orders for digital recordings
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon.com, Inc. NASDAQ:AMZN is refusing to accept pre-orders for digital recordings of popular titles such as “Maleficent” and its other highly popular titles. The article points out Amazon is using the same tact in the movie market that it has adopted in the book publishing industry: Play the game Amazon’s way or lose access to a giant market of customers.
Amazon has reported virtual control over the publishing industry and is now working to “encourage” publishers to lower prices below the cost of production, say book publishers. Amazon has essentially had its way with the publishing industry, as publishers have continually been forced to reduce prices or alter terms of sale to accommodate the retailer’s demands. The article points out that never before in the history of book publishing has such control taken place.
The definition of a monopoly is, in part, “a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices,” and 50 percent control of any market – including stock and commodity markets – which would technically be defined as a controlling interest. Using the only objective numeric definition of market manipulation possible, Amazon controlling over half a market and then asserting influence over market participants to comply with its design or face punishment though lack of market access might meet any logical definition of market manipulation.
“It’s rare in physical retail to have contract disputes become so public. Most retailers just aren’t willing to hurt themselves by cutting off sales,” Sucharita Mulpuru, a Forrester Research analyst was quoted as saying. “Amazon has demonstrated that they’re not going to be the one to blink in these negotiations.”
Amazon.com, Inc. NASDAQ:AMZN might not blink because of their overwhelming control of the market.
And where is the Department of Justice on the issue? Silence.
The DoJ appears to have yawned at a single organization who, on a quantitative basis, controls the market and uses this influence to move market prices. But further examination of Amazon might be interesting.
Amazon’s contract with CIA
Amazon.com, Inc. NASDAQ:AMZN, which has a $600 million contract with the CIA to provide cloud computing, also has powerful cultural influence. Its founder, Jeff Bezos, recently purchased the Washington Post, which historically has been one of the most politically influential newspapers in the business. Reports have suggested Amazon is highly cooperative with the National Security Agency in monitoring informational purchasing history to determine highly intimate user profiles.
For its part, Amazon has launched a web site titled “Readers United,” which, according to numerous press reports, seems to diminish a prominent author of interesting note. In attacking George Orwell, Amazon seems to be attempting to diminish voices of decent that are calling out its attempts to manipulate media voices in a free society.