Amazon’s Dec. 10 Price Check promotion specifically excludes books.
That’s right. You can use the price check app to shop for books, and maybe save some money, but the extra 5 percent off deal Amazon was offering was for electronics, toys, music, sporting goods and DVDs. This is because Amazon simply doesn’t care about independent bookstores. Little bookshops are not even on Jeff Bezos’ radar anymore. He and Amazon are after bigger game: Best Buy (who have pulled bar codes off their products to defend against precisely this), Wal-Mart, Target, Toys ‘R’ Us, Costco, and Macy’s.
Amazon is a retail and technology company of a scope and potential that’s simply unprecedented in our history. Books and digital reading devices — even as they’re selling by the millions of units for hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue every week — are a Trojan horse.
Why, then, did the debate over Amazon’s Price Check promotion find its flashpoint with indie bookstores, rather than big-box retail? It’s simply because it’s a debate we’re used to having. Neither Russo nor Manjoo are actually contrarian at all, except to one another, in the same way that neither Republicans nor Democrats are likely to say anything far outside conventional political orthodoxy.
Tim Carmody. As the saying goes, read the whole thing.