Amazon Not Accepting DVD Preorders of 'Maleficent' in Apparent Disney Dispute

 Frank Connor/Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Amazon isn't accepting DVD and Blu-ray preorders of Walt Disney films such as Maleficent and Captain America: The Winter Soldier in an apparent dispute with the entertainment giant, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

While Barnes & Noble and Walmart are continuing to offer preorders, Amazon is telling users that they will get a notification when the titles become available. Disney and Amazon declined to comment, and it wasn't immediately clear what issues the companies were having.

The Journal said that Amazon briefly stopped offering preorders of upcoming Warner Bros. DVDs earlier this year before reaching an agreement.

Amazon has also been engaged in a dispute in recent months with Hachette Book Group over the pricing of e-books, pushing for a standard price of $9.99 rather than $12.99 or $14.99. In that showdown, Amazon suspended preorders for physical copies of upcoming titles and used longer shipping times or lower discounts, according to the Journal.

Observers have followed the developments amid concerns that Amazon could start flexing its e-tail muscle in talks with media and entertainment companies more regularly. 

The Hachette dispute gained intensity over the weekend. Amazon asked customers and self-published authors to write to Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch, saying on its site: "E-books can and should be less expensive. Hachette spent three months stonewalling and only grudgingly began to even acknowledge our concerns when we took action to reduce sales of their titles."

Recently, 900 or so authors signed a petition, which also showed up as an ad in Sunday's New York Times, protesting Amazon's position. The petition was signed by the likes of Stephen King, John Grisham and Paul Auster.

"As writers — most of us not published by Hachette — we feel strongly that no bookseller should block the sale of books or otherwise prevent or discourage customers from ordering or receiving the books they want,” the ad said.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

 

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