This story began earlier in the year when Amazon demanded a deeper discount from some publisher's than is the norm which is 50%. This time around it is Hachette Publishing - a larger publisher in the UK.
The publisher’s chief executive, Tim Hely Hutchinson, sent a defiant letter to many of his authors explaining the “oddities” of vanishing buy buttons. The online retailer, he said, was demanding a bigger slice. Publishers traditionally sell books to retailers at a discount off the recommended retail price, but Amazon was demanding more than its existing 50 percent.
The dispute with Hachette is not the first in which Amazon has resorted to removing the “buy now” buttons for certain books. In the spring it started disabling the icons for some small publishers in the United States that resisted Amazon’s demand that they use an Amazon-owned company, BookSurge, for print-on-demand services. Amazon is the dominant seller of such titles.
I used to love Amazon when it was the new kid on the block. They were so cutting edge and offered the best discounts...then they turned into a corporate monolith intent upon screwing those of whom their income is dependent. As an author, I applaud Hachette for standing up to the suck-tastic bully that Amazon has become.
Amazon - you suck.