Following heated contract disputes this summer with media giants Hachette and Warner Brothers, Amazon has opened up a brand new front on its divisive pricing war: the Walt Disney Company.
Amazon is not currently accepting preorders for certain Disney DVD and Blu-ray releases, including blockbusters like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Maleficent. The move smacks of Amazon’s decision in May to jack up prices and offer protracted delivery options on popular Hachette titles.
The Disney dispute also trails a similar skirmish with Warner Brothers in June, in which Amazon blocked forthcoming titles like The Lego Movie and 300: Rise of an Empire. While that dispute was squelched in a matter of weeks, Amazon’s war with Hachette rages on.
On Sunday, a group of 900 writers, known as Authors United, banded together to run a full-page ad in The New York Times condemning Amazon’s actions and asking readers to email Jeff Bezos personally.
Later that day, Amazon responded with an open letter of its own on a site dubbed Readers United, in which the company argued that e-book prices have become “unjustifiably high” and asked its customers to email Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch.
Amazon, which is said to control more than 60 percent of the e-book market, wants to set the majority of e-book prices at $9.99.
While pulling content amid contract negotiations is nothing new, Amazon’s trigger-happy tactics demonstrate its “unusual sway in e-commerce,” reports The Wall Street Journal, which added that the ways in which the dispute is settled could set critical precedents for the e-tailing industry in years to come.