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Amazon update: Time Warner faces Hachette-style order delays

Amazon targets Time Warner with tactics it is using against publisher Hachette
First books, now movies: Amazon's aggressive negotiation tactics

As the dispute between Amazon and Hachette dragged into its sixth week, the online retailer has turned its anti-shopping tactics against another target: Time Warner. 

Forthcoming DVD and Blu-ray releases from Warner Home Video, including "The Lego Movie," Vol. 3 of the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection and "300: Rise of an Empire" are no longer available for pre-order. They once were.

"The Lego Movie" is the biggest-grossing film of 2014 so far; the home versions were bound to rack up pre-orders in advance of the on-sale date, June 17. Removing the pre-order option for popular products is a tactic Amazon has used in its ongoing dispute with publisher Hachette. 

Mulholland Books, an imprint of Hachette, will publish J.K. Rowling's next book -- the mystery "The Silkworm," written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith -- on June 19, but it is not available for pre-order on Amazon.

Both "The Silkworm" and "The Lego Movie" are available for pre-order from other retail websites, including Barnes & Noble and Target.

The dispute between Hachette and Amazon is thought to involve terms regarding the cost of e-books to the retailer and consumer. In the case of Amazon and Warner Home Video, the contents of the discussion are not known, and Warner Bros. is not commenting.

The films that are not available to purchase on Amazon are available for streaming.

As for books, Hachette has issued no new official statements regarding the dispute.

Last week, an author on the Hachette roster -- Sherman Alexie, a vocal critic of Amazon -- appeared on "The Colbert Report" to discuss the dispute between publisher and online retailer. Colbert, also a Hachette author and upset over Amazon's actions, called for his audience's support: "We're going to prove that I can sell more books than Amazon! Alright?"

Colbert and Alexie urged readers to go to Powell's, the independent bookstore, and pre-order "California" by Edan Lepucki. Lepucki, a debut novelist (and one of the Times 2014 Faces to Watch), doesn't have the high profile of other Hachette authors such as Malcolm Gladwell and James Patterson. So when her book shot to the top of Powell's bestseller list -- where it remains -- it appeared to prove Colbert's point.

In the coming weeks, other bestseller lists may reveal to what extent Amazon's actions have prompted book buyers to shop elsewhere (or not).

Like passing notes in class: I'm @paperhaus on Twitter

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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