Is Amazon Growing Too Powerful?

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Without providing further terms or details, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced that it plans to purchase Goodreads, an e-reader program that adds a social layer to the experience. Boasting 16 million members, Goodreads is a good purchase for Amazon, but not everyone is happy with the proposed acquisition.

A group of authors are saying that Amazon is gaining too much control in the publishing industry, and that Goodreads was one of the few entities with the means to potentially compete with the titan online retailer. Amazon is at the forefront of the e-book market, which has been gaining huge momentum as readers make the shift from paper to e-reader devices, like the company’s Kindle line. As e-books continue to expand, publishers have said Amazon devalues content with low prices that make it hard for them to compete.

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“Recommendations from like-minded readers appear to be the Holy Grail of online book marketing,” said Scott Turow, president of the Authors Guild, whose legal thrillers include “The Burden of Proof” and “Presumed Innocent.”

“By combining Goodreads’ recommendation database with Amazon’s own vast databases of readers’ purchase histories, Amazon’s control of online bookselling approaches the insurmountable,” he added.

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