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Barnes & Noble Won't Stock Amazon's Books

First Posted: 02/01/2012 11:11 am Updated: 02/01/2012 11:11 am

Barnes & Noble will stop selling Amazon's books in its 703 stores, according to a statement from the company published on the New York Times Media Decoder blog.

Jaime Carey, the company’s chief merchandising officer, said in a statement:

"Our decision is based on Amazon’s continued push for exclusivity with publishers, agents and the authors they represent. These exclusives have prohibited us from offering certain e-books to our customers. Their actions have undermined the industry as a whole and have prevented millions of customers from having access to content."

The move is another blow in the fight between the two retail giants who are currently the leading players both in the field of ebook readers (Amazon's Kindle vs Barnes & Noble's Nook) and physical book sales.

Amazon has been making significant moves into publishing in recent months, acquiring the rights to 47 books from the backlist of deceased bestselling mystery author Ed McBain, as well as the memoir of Hollywood producer Penny Marshall. The practices of its New York unit, headed by Laurence Kirshbaum, was recently profiled in Bloomberg Businessweek in an issue headed "Amazon Wants To Burn The Book Industry."

Barnes & Noble, meanwhile, has its own imprint, Sterling Publishing, which it acquired in 2003 and put up for sale last month. Sterling Publishing's books are available to purchase via Amazon, as is Barnes & Noble's e-reader, the Nook.

Last week, a deal was announced between Amazon and publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to create a new HMH imprint, New Harvest, entirely made up of Amazon-acquired titles that would be distributed to book stores. It is understood that this imprint is included in Barnes & Noble's ban on Amazon-published books, and might prompt some authors not to sign with one of Amazon's six imprints.

Some independent bookstores are taking similar measures - Media Decoder quotes Vivien Jennings of Rainy Day Books in Kansas as saying "If Amazon wants to publish books, let Amazon sell them."

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Filed by Andrew Losowsky  |