Books written by Ray Sullivan

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Amazon picking on Micky Mouse Companies now

Following on from their dispute with Hachette, Amazon are now leaning on other companies that don't follow the rules that Amazon decide are right.  It appears that some Disney DVD titles will not be available for pre-order from Amazon in what is believed to be another dispute over pricing.

Don't get me wrong, I like any move that helps consumers, and if Amazon was battling on behalf of the little man I reckon they'd win a lot of support.  However it looks like Amazon really just wants a bigger slice of the profit margin from every sale - they've pretty much screwed every small to medium sized trader into the ground over the last few years, now it seems the big boys are getting it stuck into them.

In some ways this does benefit you and me: lowered prices should translate into more options with our disposable income.  However the market generally manages this without the assistance of a large corporation, arguably has made Amazon do some of the things it has done.  If they hadn't done their bit, someone else would have.  But there is a real price to be paid for too much aggressiveness in the market - those small traders working on miniscule margins disappear from sight eventually, usually with a backlog of creditors who weren't paid for their last delivery.  Eventually the cost of bankruptcies and other legitimate means of avoiding debts is transferred to the market, which means the we all pay a little more some way along the line to compensate.  So those ridiculously affordable but unnecessary DVDs you bought on Amazon last year may be why you are now paying more for essential goods in ASDA.

The big players are a bit more resistant to Amazon, but they don't underestimate the clout the company has.  Consequently Hachette is being bombarded with spam at Amazon's request - maybe, it seems I was far from alone in resisting that request - and now they are trying to strong-arm Disney.  Here's what I think:

Disney should consider making a movie, about a wicked retailer that tries to distort the market, rolling over the little guys day in, day out.  Then it runs up against the hero who has hitherto shown little interest in the activities of the wicked retailer, even though it sells through him.  A lot, by all accounts in fact. So here is the story arc; the complacent big guy turns into superhero, championing not just their own cause, but that of the little guys too. As the film approaches the dénouement we find the hero locked in mortal combat with the wicked retailer until, just as it looks like the hero has been struck by a mortal blow.... well, I guess you get the idea.  It might have to be PG rated, mind.  In fact, let's make that rating compulsory and insist that all adults watch it.  Including Jeff Bezos. 

In fact, especially Jeff Bezos.

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