Amazon halts pre-orders of some Disney movies in apparent Hachette-like dispute

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As Amazon’s squabble with US publishing firm Hachette over e-book pricing rumbles on, the e-commerce giant now appears to have become involved in a dispute with Disney, too.

A WSJ report Sunday noted that Amazon isn’t accepting pre-orders for a number of Disney DVD and Blu-ray movies, among them Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Maleficent, while other mainstream sites are still offering the option.

The move appears similar to one Amazon made back in June when it blocked pre-orders of some Warner Brothers movies in an effort to score a better pricing deal for the online retailer.

Amazon is also using the same tactics against Hachette in a bid to get the publishing firm to reduce the cost of its e-books, a move it says will prove a winner not only for itself, but for Hachette and authors, too. Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch hit back on Sunday, explaining why he thinks his firm’s pricing plan for e-books is fair.

Related: Amazon urges readers to contact Hachette boss over e-book pricing

As WSJ points out in its report, with so many entertainment-related brick-and-mortar retailers going to the wall in recent years, online retailers have increased in importance for movie distributors and book publishers. While customers can choose from a number of online shopping sites, firms like Disney and Hachette will understandably want their content available in as many locations as possible, and especially on a high-profile site like Amazon.

The Web-based company is looking at ways to increase profits after posting a $126 million loss for its latest quarter from April to June. This was despite a 23 percent rise in revenue, which came in at $19.3 billion.

Amazon has been investing heavily across the board recently, producing original TV shows, expanding its delivery service in some areas to include Sundays, and developing and launching its new Fire smartphone.

We’ve reached out to Amazon and Disney to try to clarify the situation and will update when we hear back.


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