Saturday, October 22, 2011

Amazon vs. Barnes & Noble... again

I was unsurprised to hear that Amazon was at it again — and by "at it" I mean throwing their weight around and just in general being a bully in the marketplace.  This time they used their influence to work out an exclusive deal with DC Comics, so that Amazon will be the only place where you can get digital versions of their comic books.  In answer, Barnes & Noble pulled all the physical versions from their shelves, and another major book chain, Books-a-Million, followed suit.

I am so tired of Apple and Amazon trying to eliminate competition in the ebook market.  The free market system is based on competition — if you can't find a book elsewhere, possibly at a lower price, how are retailers supposed to compete?  I don't like the agency model of pricing ebooks either, and we have Apple to thank for that one.

I'm hoping that as ebooks become more commonplace and less of an new technology, that things will calm down.  Obviously I don't expect stores to stop trying to compete with one another, but I do hope something will happen to cause them to stop trying to undermine the free market system.  I hope also that once ebooks aren't so exciting and new, people will stop paying any price for them, and publishers will be forced to bring prices down a little — right now I think some are a bit too high.

In the meantime, it'll be interesting to see what comes of Barnes & Noble to carry DC Comics any longer!

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