I was very disappointed to hear that Amazon.com’s print on demand subsidiary BookSurge has been suggesting to publishers that if they use a competing print on demand supplier, their books will no longer be offered for sale by Amazon.com.
A publisher’s choice of printing technology or supplier is a private internal decision. If this policy were to take effect, it would constitute shameful [anti-competitive behavior](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tying_(commerce)) of [dubious legality](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tying_(commerce)#Tying_in_United_States_Law). It’s as if Wal-Mart refused to stock a product unless the vendor used only a certain Wal-Mart subsidiary for outsourced customer service.
The story was broken by Angela Hoy at Writer’s Weekly:
“He stated several times that books not converted to BookSurge’s system would be ‘taken down.’…Mr. Clifford finally admitted that books not converted to BookSurge would have the ‘buy’ button turned off on Amazon.com, just as we’d heard from several other POD publishers who had similar conversations with Amazon/BookSurge representatives…Another comment Mr. Clifford made was that their eventual desire is to have no books from other POD publishers available on Amazon.com.” More…
“Over the last year, BookSurge has been trying to cut into the market share of pod leader Lightning Source and is using the selling clout of Amazon to generate more business. ‘I feel like the flea between two giant elephants,’ said the head of one pod publisher about the upcoming battle between Lightning Source and BookSurge/Amazon. He said although the deal with BookSurge will be more expensive, he has no choice but to make the move since most of his authors expect their titles to be for sale on Amazon. He added that his company will also continue to use Lightning Source for printing as well. Amazon’s BookSurge mandate extends to traditional publishers as well as to online pod houses.”