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The New York Times reports this morning that Amazon, which is engaged in a pricing battle with Hachette over the cost of books that has led to the retailer limiting access to the publisher's books on its site, is expanding that fight to Warner Home Video.

In a story that begins, "the Everything Store is shrinking again," the Times writes that "Amazon customers who want to order forthcoming Warner Home Video features, including 'The Lego Movie,' '300: Rise of an Empire,' 'Winter’s Tale' and 'Transcendence,' are finding it impossible to do so … Amazon started refusing preorders for the Time Warner movies in mid-May."

The goal is to gain leverage with suppliers, and the story notes that "Amazon’s long-stated desire to sell everything to everybody might be taking a back seat."

According to the Times, "There is no resolution in sight to the Hachette standoff. Amazon’s tactics with Warner Home Video are unlikely to provoke as much of an uproar, since DVDs do not carry the cultural weight of books. And the films are readily available from other vendors, including Target and Barnes & Noble. Neither does Amazon seem to be imposing lengthy shipping delays on the DVDs once they go on sale, one of the things that provoked particular ire with Hachette."
KC's View:
The notion of competing imperatives is an interesting one, with Amazon essentially saying that if it has to choose between selling everything and selling at the lowest prices, it will choose the latter. But, of course, that's not exactly what is going on here … because it seems to me that Amazon is less interested in lower prices than it is in higher margins.

To be clear, Amazon is doing what a lot of retailers do. But a lot of consumers expect Amazon to be different.