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Amazon “bullies”

amazon_2398935bhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27994314

Many of us who welcomed the choice, value and scope of Amazon as it started its march across the retail market are beginning to feel a little uneasy at the companies behaviour

We are all well aware of its tax “arrangements” which do leave a bitter taste, but its increasingly bullying attitudes towards suppliers seem to be unnecessary and charmless. It does beg the question, is it really necessary for dominant retailers to act in such a manner?

The web giant wants the right to print books itself if publishers fail to provide adequate stock, and wants publishers to match any pricing deals it offers to other distributers.

Another clause, known in the industry as a “most favoured nation” (MFN) proposal, asks publishers not to offer promotions to distributors without also offering them to Amazon.

More in the linked article, but perhaps most pertinently…

They also warned that Amazon was reaching a “Ryanair moment”, when customers and suppliers would become uncomfortable with the way that the company operates.

My own feeling on this is that we operate in a free market and transactions between businesses should be a private matter. Having said that, the anti trust laws in the USA have been a major success over the past decades and it is proof that even within the most business driven markets, some legislation is required to keep competition fair and balanced. Businesses should be aware of this

Too many clauses and contracts are simply nothing more than exploitation. The disgraceful “retrospective discount” being perhaps the most prominent example (and used by John Lewis of all people, see  my earlier post)

Amazon and others invite intervention and legislation

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