What makes the dispute between Amazon and Hachette different is that Amazon’s tactics have no obvious consumer benefit, a key antitrust consideration.
The group “deplores any attempt by any party that would seek to injure and punish innocent authors — and their innocent readers — in order to pursue its position in a business dispute. We believe that such actions are analogous to hostage-taking to extort concessions, and are just as indefensible.” — Gail Hochman, president of the Association of Authors’ Representatives
What kind of entity in a competitive market would willfully drive customers into the arms of its competitors unless it believes it doesn’t really have any competitors? Can you imagine Best Buy refusing to deliver for a period of weeks what’s available from its competitors? But Amazon behaves as though they’re the only game in town. And increasingly they are. It’s a head-scratcher why anyone with regulatory authority would tolerate it. If this is not an example of untoward power, I don’t know what is. — Scott Turow, a Hachette author and former president of the Authors Guild and a lawyer.
As a reader, I enjoy low prices but I don’t want prices so low that the authors finally decide it’s not worth it and quit writing.
Publishers Weekly (@PublishersWkly) tweeted at 5:11 AM on Thu, May 09, 2013:
Amazon Warehouse Workers Sue Over Security Checkpoint Waits http://t.co/tKyxMfRLne
More fodder for my Amazon boycott fire.
I did a happy dance this morning as I read through my morning Flipboard cover stories. This headline caught my eye enough to drill-down and read the entire article:
Microsoft threatened as smartphones and tablets rise, Gartner warns
The Guardian, April 4, 2013
This came as welcome news to me, especially after last week’s devastating development where Amazon gobbled up GoodReads. Microsoft used to hold the top spot on my boycott list, but thanks to BYOD (bring your own device), I can see the digital writing on the wall for the fall of Microsoft. At least I’ll keep hoping and dreaming of that day.
Dare I compare Microsoft to Ancient Rome? The terrain may be different (virtual instead of reality), but the goals appear similar (world conquest). Instead of taking centuries to rot and collapse, our modern day equivalent is fading into obscurity and irrelevance in a matter of decades. In my lifetime, the hardware has changed dramatically since the mid-70s and the software no less so.
For everyday consumers, I’m not sure Microsoft can salvage their sinking ship. Apple and Android seized the day and their stars are still rising. In the corporate world, Microsoft will remain strong and may succeed in wrestling and cajoling enterprise customers into SaaS (software as a service) licensing agreements. I just don’t see the desktop completely disappearing in some industries (like legal where I’m employed). Document production is still done fastest with a real keyboard, but perhaps voice recognition apps will make even QWERTY disappear soon.
So with Microsoft slipping sliding away, I can return my boycott sites on the next worst case and keep spreading the bad news about Amazon. Buyer Beware! Author Beware!