Amazon accused of delaying book shipments to punish publishers

Everything we know about the Han Solo standalone movie
News about the heavily anticipated 'Star Wars' film is starting to trickle in.

See all Editor's Picks

unhappy Amazon warehouse
Customers are angry over books being marked as out of stock for seemingly no reason.

Last week, a publisher accused Amazon of deliberately slowing down orders due to a contractual dispute. Hachette, the publisher of J.K. Rowling, Malcolm Gladwell, Jon Stewart and many other popular authors, is currently in contractual negotiations with Amazon over rights and distribution, reports the New York Times. While Amazon can usually ship a title in a couple of days, shoppers have been alerted that Hachette titles, such as Stephen Colbert’s new tome, aren’t available for up to three weeks. Other titles by popular Hachette authors have also inexplicably been marked as out of stock by Jeff Bezos’s company, leaving shoppers with either a long wait or an arduous trip to their local independent bookseller.

Hachette claims Amazon, which controls 30 percent of the U.S. book market, is inconveniencing customers to punish the supplier, as it has previously done with MacMillan and independent publishers by discouraging customers to buy certain titles and in some cases even removing them from sale altogether.

“We have been asked legitimate questions about why many of our books are at present marked out of stock with relatively long estimated shipping times on the Amazon website, in contrast to immediate availability on other websites and in stores,” said Hachette spokesperson Sophie Cottrell.

Amazon has so far not responded to comment.

Photo via thisisbossi / Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

How Amazon and Target get away with wage exploitation
BY JOSEPH DUGGAN LYONS The one and only purchase I’ve made at my hometown’s newer, bigger Wal-Mart Supercenter was a tube of “all-natural” Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sausage. It cost about $1.98. I remember because I felt guilty, and I still do, thanks to the recent media portrayals painting Wal-Mart as the food-stamp retailer. These reports—one of which estimates 15 percent of the retailer’s employees in Ohio rely on food stamps to keep food on the table—have surged as wo...
From Our VICE Partners

Pure, uncut internet. Straight to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!