For authors and book lovers all over the world, the news pertaining to the on-going dispute between a publishing company Hachette and the global online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) might have been surprising. However, it might as well be revealed that this is not the beginning of the dispute but a culmination of stand-off between the two entities that has been building up since months. Matters became public knowledge in the month of May this year, shareholders of these companies have been waiting for the final confrontation.
The crux of the dispute lies in provision of discounts over ebooks that are published by Hachette and sold on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Given its penchant for providing discounts on its goods, the retailer sought permission from Hachette, a renowned publishing house, to bring down the price at which its ebooks were being sold, something that the latter did not agree with. As per Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), the move was aimed at offering books to customers around the globe at more affordable rates so that they would sell more and as a result accrue more revenue to the retailer, publisher and ultimately to the authors.
While Hachette’s decision to post a letter on NY Times seems revolutionary, it is in reaction to Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) having published a letter containing the email id of Hachette’s CEO urging buyers to write to him to end the dispute. Before that, the retailer not just blocked discounts on Hachette’s books but also drastically altered the shipping conditions, thus affecting sales and resulting in authors’ bearing the brunt in the process.
A behemoth though it might be, its actions have received criticism on the global platform with as many as 900 authors comprising of the likes of Stephen King, Jonathan Ames and Douglas Preston, forming a front named ‘Authors United’.
In the words of Douglas Preston, Pendergast series –
“As writers — most of us not published by Hachette — we feel strongly that no bookseller should block the sale of books or otherwise prevent or discourage customers from ordering or receiving the books they want. We call on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) to resolve its dispute with Hachette without further hurting authors and without blocking or otherwise delaying the sale of books to its customers.”
Till the fall-out of this becomes known, interested readers may utilize the time to understand what is in store for them and accordingly decide which side they are on.
Click here for the latest news about General Motors Co. (GM) to appeal for the rejection of Georgia Switch Suit Revival.
This article has been written by Vinita Basu and edited by Serkan Unal.