OFT investigate Amazon purchase while writer threatens to 'decapitate' employee
All is not well at Amazon. The stuff-vendor acquired The Book Depository for an undisclosed sum, and already, people are concerned that this could result in a hike in prices and the end of free shipping. Such is the concern that the Office of Fair Trading have got involved and are starting a formal merger inquiry.
Interested parties must pass comment on it to the OFT and have the 18th July in which to do so. From that, OFT will either decide that this deal isn't worth an investigation, it can clear it or, refer it to the Competitions Commission. The most likely outcome is that they'll accept an "undertaking in lieu of a referral", which means that Amazon will make certain concessions so that any deal will be able to go through.
What sparked interest is that Amazon made an operating profit of £2.3m last year and, since acquiring The Book Depository, the turnover is "thought to have nearly doubled to £120m in the last financial year".
The Book Depository says simply on its website: "The Book Depository and Amazon are aligned in wanting to ensure the best possible experience for customers... we will look to continue to increase our vast selection of great titles and provide even better customer experience."
Elsewhere, an Amazon employee is being threatened with 'decapitation' from author George RR Martin, who penned A Game of Thrones. It appears that someone working at Amazon has shipped copies of his massively embargoed new novel, A Dance with Dragons, early.
Around 180 copies have been sent to readers by Amazon in Germany and spoilers have started to appear online. Martin says: "I am not happy about this. My publishers are furious. If we find out who is responsible, we will mount his head on a spike."