Johnson described how, after his initial refusal to play on their terms, Amazon representatives approached him at Book Expo and advised him to “get with the program.” He also described the way Amazon unsummarily pulled the “Buy” buttons from Melville House titles after he publicly criticized the company.
Proponents of Amazon’s lower pricing strategies argue that Amazon is the underdog in the publishing monopoly, not the other way around. But the fact remains that Amazon is a company that singlehandedly controls 30% of the market share of the entire publishing industry. And unlike its competitors, it has a publishing arm, a distribution arm, and a retail arm. Although the price-fixing that the Big Six and Apple were engaged in was blatantly illegal, the maneuver was a unilateral way of competing as a group against Amazon’s predatory pricing—that is, its ability to leverage its other retail holdings to offer rock-bottom pricing for its books, effectively decimating the landscape of other booksellers.
Increasingly, the rhetoric about Amazon’s bullying tactics is that the company is violating the same antitrust laws that it used to spear Apple and the Big Five on the Department of Justice’s hook. “Monopoly achieved,” Johnson wrote after the verdict."
"Better for Amazon is rarely better for the publishing industry."
— Elephant Man trivia (via 50watts)