With iBooks tied up by courts, Amazon runs roughshod over publishers
When the U.S. government sued Apple over its entry into the ebooks market there was a fear that the action would result in Amazon, who already enjoyed a dominant market position, increasing their power to potentially abusive levels. So, was that fear justified? According to the New York Times:
Amazon's power over the publishing and bookselling industries is unrivaled in the modern era. Now it has started wielding its might in a more brazen way than ever before.
Seeking ever-higher payments from publishers to bolster its anemic bottom line, Amazon is holding books and authors hostage on two continents by delaying shipments and raising prices. The literary community is fearful and outraged — and practically begging for government intervention.
Sure, Apple went about establishing the agency model in the wrong way, but as a result of iBooks — of competition — some level of protection was afforded authors and publishers . More importantly, we — customers — got much better ebooks much faster. Amazon's Kindle service was dreadful before iBooks. It was bad scans at best. iBooks brought color and interaction and forced Amazon to evolve the Kindle format. That was good for everyone.
In hindsight, going after Apple while leaving Amazon unchecked might be looked back upon as one of the bigger bozo moves of the ebook era.