If Amazon's terms were agreed, . .

“The Bookseller’s editor, Philip Jones, told the BBC that if Amazon’s terms were agreed, it would be a ‘form of assisted suicide for the industry’.”

“The web giant wants the right to print books itself if publishers fail to provide adequate stock, and wants publishers to match any pricing deals it offers to other distributers.”

I suppose that the industry, which is composed of book publishers of different size, is suffering from some problems. They might, for example, be worrying about rising production costs or declining demand.

I have an Amazon Premium account, and I am almost satisfied with the services provided by the web giant. However, I don’t hope that the company will have excessive power on small-scale publishers. The industry should not be controlled by a giant retailer such as Amazon. There should be some restrictions on the behavior of the web giant.

There is another interesting point in the article, the comment about the “Ryanair moment”: at what point would customers and suppliers become uncomfortable with the way that the company operates? I am not sure what my point of departure would be or whether there would ever be one.

Here in the UK we tend to put up with Ryanair because of the “convenience” (low prices at reasonable times) it offers, but as soon as flights nearer home come within an acceptable margin of Ryanair’s prices, we tend to go for the home airport with its slightly more expensive option. The more we dislike the restraints of Ryanair the greater our margin of tolerance for higher prices in home airports becomes. I now avoid Ryanair if I can, but will use it should I find no acceptable alternative within my perceived monetary range.

Is Ryanair notorious?
“Amazon likened to Ryanair as publishers accuse it of bullying tactics”

When I first heard the concept, back in 1995, that there was this online bookstore that would hunt up old copies of books for you, and they had access to a huge inventory of books, it seemed like a miracle. Obtaining a book that wasn’t one of the most popular books recently published was very difficult, requiring driving and searching through used book stores. Many books were simply too hard to find.

I had no idea that Amazon would one day be a contributing factor to the closing of used bookstores, library branches, small publishers, and even larger bookstores.

That Amazon has grown to such a large retailer is amazing. Is it a monopoly that should be restricted? Have we ever treated a retailer as a monopoly before?

I do know I have been spoiled by the amazing access to books Amazon has given me, both from the books they sell and the secondary market of sellers they make available to me.

I am a person in USA seeking books written in Korean. How much harder would that be if I didn’t have Amazon as an option? The shipping alone on books from Korea has kept me from ordering from Korean bookstores. I am glad I am not limited to 1 or 2 books that I might have found on Korean in the local bookstore. I, for one, will continue to do business with Amazon.

"That Amazon has grown to such a large retailer is amazing. Is it a monopoly that should be restricted? Have we ever treated a retailer as a monopoly before? "

Monopoly means the complete control of the supply of a particular service. If the company is in the process of gaining the position of a monopoly, that is not good for the publishing industry, the bookshop industry, or the customers.

I live in an area where people seek out local. Walmart has basically not been allowed into the state, and the capital is the only state capital in the country to not have a McDonalds. There are quite a few used book stores in town, and even the Barnes and Nobles here has a used books section. Personally, I mostly use Amazon because it’s cheap and quick. The mom and pop shops are nice to browse from time to time, but it’s just not effecient if you are looking for something in particular. Like all things, I’d probably be happier if Amazon was a cooperative, or something, but that’s just not how it works here. I’d not be for its spreading so far into publishing, though. I don’t know what good that would do.

When I fly I’m willing to pay a little more for a lot more comfort. I usually take Jet Blue or Air Canada over Delta, US/United, and Continental. For cheap flights I like Southwest in the US, and I actually don’t mind Easyjet in Europe.

”Among these were the right for Amazon to print its own copies of a book if a publisher runs out of stock.”

The above sentence is from the BBC article. I wonder why the writer used ‘were’ instead of ‘was’.
If the subject is ‘the right’, which is singular, shouldn’t the above sentence read 'Among these was the right . . ."?

You’ll soon be offered a job as a proofreader for the BBC!

This sentence may have been longer at originally, in which case the ‘were’ would have been correct - something along the lines of “… runs out of stock [ and the right to XYZ]”.

Another reason why the ‘were’ escaped the chop may be that it sounds so natural: the previous sentence talked about the new clauses and then comes the ‘these’ which often logically asks for the plural …

Mistakes like these happen (as we saw). The BBC is by far not the worst culprit. Years ago The Guardian was infamous for its poor typesetting, even on its title page. It used to be called affectionately as “The Gruadian”.

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