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Phil Simon

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Is Amazon Becoming the New Wal-Mart?

Is Amazon getting too big for its britches?
Mar | 23 | 2010

buy_button_amazon_comThey say that 40 is the new 30. Along these lines, I have been wondering recently if Amazon is becoming the new Wal-Mart.

The extent to which Wal-Mart bullies its suppliers has been well-documented. (I’ll stay away from Wal-Mart employees here. I just don’t want to go there in this post.) To its credit, the company has been aware of its image problem and has recently taken steps to address it.

Now, it looks like another massive company is exhibiting some of Wal-Mart’s, er, “less than desirable” tendencies. In Amazon Threatens Publishers as Apple Looms, Motoko Rich and Brad Stone write about how Amazon continues to play hardball with publishers. I can tell you from personal experience that I am very confused about how Amazon operates with authors and publishers.

Sensing an Opportunity?

Perhaps Barnes and Noble sees an opportunity to steal market share from the 800 lb gorilla. This might explain B&N’s recent executive shakeup.

Amazon isn’t going anywhere.

Look, no one is saying that Amazon is evil. I’ll bet–as others have–that their antics are a direct function of their investors’ desire to increase profits and the company’s stock price. Also, I’d wager that Amazon has been focusing lately on what to do about the iPad. It may  have found a solution.

In the End

Amazon isn’t going anywhere. If you look at Amazon’s market share in the book world, it’s in no jeopardy of losing its places as numero uno anytime soon. Still, don’t fumbles like these anger key business partners and cause them to look for alternatives? Is Amazon truly so big that it will always be immune from all current and future competition? If it is, then it’s the first company in history to be accurately able to make this claim.

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