Amazon Yanks 5K E-Books in Contract Dispute

Publishers group says it was strong-armed to accept new terms
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2012 3:30 AM CST
Amazon Yanks 5K E-Books in Contract Dispute
IPG says Kindle sales make up less than 10% of its revenue.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

Amazon is playing hardball with a book distributor that refused to give it a bigger share of the pie. The company's Kindle store yanked some 5,000 e-books after Independent Publishers Group, which represents hundreds of independent publishers, refused the online giant's demands. "They decided they didn't like the terms we offered, and we said, 'We're not going to change,' and they removed them," IPG chief Mark Suchomel tells the Chicago Tribune.

IPG says the move won't force it out of business, and it has told its publishers to stress that its e-books are available elsewhere. Publishing industry experts say that by removing the digital titles, Amazon appears to be flexing its muscles to send a message to other publishers and distributors. "It wouldn't seem that the aggregate revenue of the publishers involved could add up to a significant amount of volume," an analyst tells the Wall Street Journal. "It would seem to be more about message sending than actual economics." (Read more Independent Publishers Group stories.)

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