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Is Amazon a Corporate Bully?

It pressured vulnerable publishers to get discounts


amazon earnings amznReaders may appreciate the ease and convenience of buying books on Amazon. But many publishers aren’t so thrilled with the Internet retailing giant.

The strain between the Seattle-based e-commerce company and the New York-centric publishing world is laid bare in a new book from Brad Stone. Titled, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, the book details Amazon’s swift rise and how publishers reacted to a rapidly changing book market landscape, the New York Times notes.

Amazon Workers Shipping Pampers From Inside P&G Warehouses
Amazon Workers Shipping Pampers From Inside P&G Warehouses

As Amazon’s sales grew, its demands to publishers increased. The company also leaned on more vulnerable publishers, a practice dubbed the “Gazelle Project.” The name was inspired by a remark from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who reportedly observerd that the online retailer “should approach these small publishers the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle.”

Amazon has come to dominate both the digital and print book markets.

The retailer’s expanding presence in the digital publishing world has prompted protests from the Authors Guild and The Association of American Publishers.

Last year, Amazon purchased Avalon Books, a publisher specializing in Westerns, romances and mysteries, with a catalog of 3,000 titles.

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