May 112014
 
are corporations becoming the new Internet gatekeepers

Hachette Book Group is the latest victim of Amazon throwing its weight around the bookselling industry reports the New York Times.

While it’s not the first time this has happened, Amazon’s willingness to bully suppliers – and disappoint customers – is a taste of what happens when one company controls a choke point in the distribution network.

In the early days of the internet we believed the web would eliminate the middleman, instead the net put the existing intermediatries out of business and gave us a new, global breed of gatekeepers.

The galling thing about Amazon is the company has barely made a profit in its 20 years of operation, one wonders how profitable it will be once should the operation manage to wrest control the entire bookselling industry.

In many ways, Amazon is a cautionary tale for everyone trading online; beware of allowing any one platform too much power over your business.

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