The New York Times says the retailer is — part of its effort to secure a bigger piece of the sales, similar to its showdown with Hachette Book Group. And that looks accurate: Amazon‘s pages for disc Warner Bros releases including The Lego Movie (out on June 17), 300: Rise Of An Empire (June 24), Winter’s Tale (June 24), Transcendence (July 22), and Looney Tunes The Platinum Collection 3 (August 12) tell potential buyers to “Sign up to be notified when this item becomes available.” They also aren’t listed on a page for pre-orders. By contrast, Walmart, >Best Buy, and Target’s sites enable customers to preorder discs of the movies. Complaints from consumers on Amazon’s message boards indicate that it began to clip preorders for Warner Bros releases in May.
Amazon’s curtailing of preorders for Hachette books raised questions about whether the retailer has too much muscle to set terms with its suppliers — what’s known as monoposony power. Amazon controls about half of all book sales in the U.S.
Amazon’s fight with book and movie suppliers takes place as the growth in its media sales decelerates — contributing to the nearly 15% drop in its stock price from January when it hit an all-time high. BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis wondered in April whether the stock has “fallen out of favor with growth investors, and is it possible that it languishes until profitability grows to the extent that it makes the shares appealing to growth-at-a-reasonable price investors?” But this morning Goldman Sachs added Amazon to its Conviction List, noting that its investments in Web services, sales of groceries, and digital hardware including its Kindle tablets will drive “incremental growth and, ultimately, profitability.”