Is Amazon A New Monopoly?

Friday, November 23, 2012


Without the ability to work together, industry watchers say the 'Big 6' publishers won’t be able to stop Amazon from pricing books as the company sees fit. Brooke speaks with Barry C. Lynn, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, who believes that the DOJ decision opens the door to an Amazonian monopoly in the book industry.


Barry C. Lynn

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Brooke Gladstone

Comments [2]

Joe Cobb Crawford from Toccoa, Georgia

Barry C. Lynn’s is spot on regarding Amazon’s marketing practices. I’m an author who sells books to “ABA”- Anyone But Amazon. Unfortunately, due to the stressed book business, some struggling independent bookstores that I supply are “bootlegging” my books to Amazon. Amazon, then sells those same books at a prices for less than what they paid the independent bookstore. In most cases Amazon also charges no sales tax and ships the books free. Who, other than a monopoly, could profit from such a business practice/model? If China was the entity using this practice, moral outrage would be heard from Washington D.C. A little lobby money buys off a lot of D.C. morals in the corporatized, monopolized, big-box-business world today.

Nov. 28 2012 12:36 PM
George Gonos

Your discussion on the threat to publishing posed by Amazon neglects a crucial dimension of the story. Put simply, Amazon would not be able to under-price books as it does if it did not utilize a poverty-wage workforce (subcontracted through temp agencies) throughout its supply chain. On this subject, see the excellent reporting of Spencer Soper in the (Allentown) Morning Call. My own research on this subject appears in Working USA (December 2011). Though your segment on Amazon was excellent, a sole focus on legal and business issues, to the exclusion of labor issues, is all too common in the media.
Thank you,
George Gonos

Nov. 26 2012 09:35 AM

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