The latest on Amazon and Hachette

Two somewhat competing accounts of Amazon's [ab]use of power in the book market.

Paul Krugman, Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not O.K.


Does Amazon really have robber-baron-type market power? When it comes to books, definitely. Amazon overwhelmingly dominates online book sales, with a market share comparable to Standard Oil’s share of the refined oil market when it was broken up in 1911. Even if you look at total book sales, Amazon is by far the largest player.

Joshua Gans, Amazon: it’s not the power, it’s the lost focus


Paul Krugman sees Amazon’s actions against Hachette — not allowing pre-orders, slipping delivery times and the like — as evidence it cannot be trusted with its power. But his anger is missplaced. The issue is that Amazon has taken these actions in a way that actually harms consumers right now.