Sunday, August 10, 2014
Dominic Patten contributed to this story
Amazon is bumping chests yet again with a media giant, this time its the House that Mickey built. At issue is contract terms for selling some of Disney’s biggest DVD/Blu Ray titles on its site — Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Maleficent, Muppets Most Wanted and Million Dollar Arm. The titles are finding their way into other retail stores such as Best Buy and Target via DVD and Blu-Ray, but they are not allowed to be sold on Amazon.
This comes as an ad signed by 900 authors across the country was set to appear in the pages of the The New York Times today protesting Amazon’s treatment of publisher Hachette which has also been in a pricing dispute with the retail giant.
This is the third time in a few short months that Amazon has butted heads with a major media entity. A stalemate also occurred earlier this year between Warner Bros. and Amazon for the release of The Lego Movie when the two behemoths could not come to terms on a deal for pre-orders so Amazon disallowed the title on the site. The Warner Bros. situation was later resolved and The Lego Movie is now available.
It was confirmed to Deadline very late Saturday night that a similar dispute has erupted over the contract terms that is preventing the studio from selling some of its biggest home entertainment titles of the year on Amazon. (The titles can be found for sale on Amazon UK but not in the U.S.). The movies are only available on Instant Video in the U.S. The online retail giant played it the same way with Warner Bros. earlier this year, which according to Home Media Magazine (which first noticed the missing Disney titles) marked the first time that Amazon halted orders as a tactic in a negotiation.
Driven by a desire to increase their profit margins, Amazon is also in a well-publicized pricing dispute with publishing giant Hachette over its e-books, a fight that involved the online retail giant delaying orders, denying pre-orders on books by popular authors such as J.K. Rowling and others. That prompted several authors to come out publicly against Amazon earlier this year including Malcolm Gladwell, James Patterson, and TV personality Stephen Colbert who really took them to task.
In fact, Colbert did a segment that ended by giving Amazon the finger on air and called for a boycott, while Patterson used Book Expo America to air his grievance, saying that Amazon “wants to control book selling, book buying, and even book publishing, and that is a national tragedy … if this is to be the new American way, then maybe it has to be changed, by law if necessary, immediately, if not sooner.”
Now, 900 authors — under the group Authors United — have gone after Amazon directly over its hard stance against Hachette.
During this year’s Herb Allen annual conference in Sun Valley Idaho, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told attendees that his business model was here to stay. Period. Hollywood is always looking for its next villian and it seems they found it in Bezos, the real-life Lord Business.
Meanwhile, consumers across the country looking to buy DVD/Blu-Ray’s for Captain America: The Winter Soldier on Amazon, will be met with only an Instant Video to download. Same for Million Dollar Arm, Maleficent and Muppets Most Wanted. For the last two, Amazon has only a picture with: “Sign up to be notified when this item becomes available.”
Posted by Fussy at 6:51 AM