Occupy Amazon

It’s Amazon vs. The World, Can Amazon Win?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

In our globalized economy, does Amazon need the good will of the publishing industry to survive?

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief

Amazon-bashing is habitual. And it isn’t just an American pastime. Or a German one. Or a British one. It’s also crossed over to Japan. All this despite the fact that in many markets around the world, Amazon sells a significant amount of print and digital books — often more then indigenous competitors. Consumers cheer when Amazon offers new products or services, from e-books to cloud computing. Publishers, on the other hand, greet Amazon as the ultimate “frenemy.”

In our globalized economy, does Amazon — or any corporation for that matter — really need the good will of the publishing industry to survive? Especially as that company moves even more aggressively into developing its own “product.” And does backlash against Amazon really matter, particularly overseas?

You might think, “hell no.” But if you look at the United States, you might see hints of changes to come. American’s consumers have become over the past half decade increasingly aware of the impact of outsourcing to foreign companies, in everything from care manufacturing to fashion. Slowly consumers have become more conscious of where goods are made and where services are housed (is that call center in India or Indiana?). And the impact is starting to be felt, especially as the global recession has made American-made good more competitively priced to those manufactured overseas.

Could the same happen for online bookselling and e-books? Not in the US, but overseas? Will the consciousness of the British or the French  or the Japanese rise to rebel against “American commercial imperialism” — or do they simply want to point, click, buy and not think of the consequences.

In short, it’s Amazon vs. the World, can the World win?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

Edward Nawotka is the Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. A former foreign correspondent, he has covered the book business since 2000, serving as daily news editor for Publishers Weekly and columnist for Bloomberg News.