Amazon's Troubling Trifecta

(corrected from an earlier edition) The Canadian Booksellers Association has demanded that the Canadian government reject Amazon.com's application to open a facility in Canada, according to Quill & Quire.

From Shelf-Awareness:

In a statement, CBA said that "allowing Amazon to operate a business within Canada would contravene the Investment Canada Act which requires that foreign investments in the book publishing and distribution sector be compatible with national cultural policies and be of net benefit to Canada and the Canadian-controlled sector."

And CBA president Stephen Cribar added, "Individual Canadian booksellers have traditionally played a key role in ensuring the promotion of Canadian authors and Canadian culture. These are values that no American dot.com retailer could ever purport to understand or promote."

Amazon applied early this year to Canada's heritage ministry for permission to open an operation in Canada; it could take 45 days for the ministry to make a ruling (Shelf Awareness, March 3, 2010).

The story also mentions Amazon's dropping it's Colorado affiliates, as reported yesterday in LISNews, and a pricing error earlier this week that allowed a lot of inventory to be sold for overly discounted prices.

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Americans should watch Amazon.ca

What Canada prevented was allowing Amazon to build warehouses and offices in Canada. There is already an Amazon Canada and Amercians should keep their eyes on it. Becuase of current changes in the value of the dollar Americans can get some great deals at the Amazon.ca website.

This article provides more information: Consumer reactions to exchange rate and trade price shifts: New evidence from online book retailing

Link to Amazon Canada

Amazon has already won

I'm not sure what difference it will make to Canadian booksellers if Amazon is allowed to distribute from Canadian soil. In my experience Amazon has a much deeper catalog, even when it comes to Canadian titles, than Canada's largest bookseller, Indigo/Chapters. I love shopping at the few remaining small specialty bookstores with expert staff but when it comes to online I want selection and price.

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