Amazon and the dangers of a monopoly in book distribution
All is not well in the world of e-books. Amazon, it seems, has been throwing its weight about and seeking to change the established agency model where the Amazon takes a 30 percent cut. As a result, one distributor, the Independent Publishers Group has withdrawn its 5,000 titles from the site.
It’s a dilemma. Amazon enjoys almost a monopoly position, especially if you are wedded to the Kindle Bookstore via a Kindle, tablet or smartphone. It would take a lot for me to seek another source of books because I find the Kindle Store so convenient. It’s a matter of inertia as well.
As a result of all this it is likely that IPG will be the big loser out of this—it will simply not sell as many books.
This is a pity because both publishers and distributors need to know where they stand. Amazon cannot keep moving the goalposts because it is the consumer who will suffer. A monopoly always disadvantages the customer.