Amazon.com has threatened to stop directly selling the books of some publishers online unless they agree to a detailed list of concessions regarding the sale of electronic books, according to two industry executives with direct knowledge of the discussions.
This is the latest escalation in the fight between Amazon and Apple. Both retailers are now trying to force publishers to sign contracts that say they cannot sell the ebooks for cheaper anywhere else for at least three years. According to MobyLives, Amazon says that they'll stop carrying any books by publishers that try to set their own prices:
This publisher was told that if they switched to an agency model for ebooks, Amazon would stop selling their entire list, in print and digital form. In conversation, Amazon is said to have reiterated that as matter of policy they are declining to negotiate an agency model with any publisher outside of the five who have already announced agreements with Apple’s iBookstore.
So my question is this: How long is Amazon going to dick around publishers before customers start to think of their inventory as unreliable? In other news, Amazon released Kindle for Mac today, and Mac experts are unexcited by the interface.