Hachette Accuses Amazon of Deliberately Delaying Shipments for Some of Its Books

The Hachette Book Group is accusing Amazon of delaying shipments for some of its books. The publisher tells the New York Times that Amazon has been slow to restock some of its books, including recent releases, on Amazon.com. The publisher says this is causing some titles on Amazon to display messages that the the book will not be available for another two or three weeks. The publisher says it sending plenty of the books to the online retailer.

Hachette spokeswoman told the New York Times, "We have been asked legitimate questions about why many of our books are at present marked out of stock with relatively long estimated shipping times on the Amazon website, in contrast to immediate availability on other websites and in store. We are satisfying all Amazon's orders promptly."

The books are not limited to a particular genre. Some of the titles Hachette says Amazon has been slow to restock include Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson, America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't by Stephen Colbert and Everybody's Got Something by Robin Roberts.

It is not clear why Amazon would intentionally delay delivery of Hachette's books, but it could be a tactic Amazon is using to negotiate better terms with the publisher. Various reports state that Amazon is driving a hard bargain in the annual renewal of Hachette's contract. Amazon declined to comment when contacted by the New York Times.

Posted on May 9, 2014

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