The UK OFT (Office of Fair Trading) has today cleared Amazon’s proposed acquisition UK Internet retailer The Book Depository. Many objections were submitted by the UK trade who were mindful of the growth of Amazon and the leverage that The Book Depository potentially gives it.
The ruling was not unexpected and was based on UK trading today and found that The Book Depository's share of UK sales was relatively small, accounting for between two to four per cent of online retailing of hard-copy books. They state that 'we are satisfied that this small increment to Amazon's position does not raise competition issues. The evidence showed limited competitive constraint from The Book Depository which, in fact, has shown most growth and expansion in overseas markets rather than the UK.’
Whilst the decision is sound today the merger does knock out a viable alternative to Amazon who has clearly demonstrate its ability to be both innovative and grow rapidly. The question now is who is the viable alternative and what levels of growth have they been able to achieve? Comparing a raising star to today’s market to many who are not exactly setting the world alight is valid but hardly fair trading.
Amazon clearly made a wise move in buying The Book Depository and got it under the OFT radar on today’s measures. If we were to extrapolate the growth and sales to see position that The Book Depository may have achieved in the coming years without Amazon and the power that the consolidation could deliver then the decision may have been tighter.
Just like they did some 13 years ago, some today are pointing to Amazon’s dip in profits and raising questions about further growth and returns. After all, accountants will often only see one goose and are unable to account in the books for the goose that lays the golden egg.
Recent blog posts
- Changing the DNA of the reader
- Starting to Accept the Neighbours – @Tom_Chalmers
- Innovation is in the blood
- My Independent Bookshop: a new chapter in book recommendation
- The end of the beginning
- A vision of a hybrid bookstore
- Riding the Rift
- We need to talk about start-ups
- Advocates of the book - stand up
- The e-book journey into China
- What exactly are those interesting questions?
2 weeks 6 days ago
- Dead books walking
8 weeks 7 hours ago
- Why Segregate?
10 weeks 5 days ago
- Big idea: build a new ecosystem - An alternative idea
12 weeks 4 days ago
- finding editors
13 weeks 6 days ago
- Predatory Publishers
19 weeks 54 min ago
- Hybird Authors
22 weeks 17 min ago
23 weeks 1 hour ago
- Still not a plateau
23 weeks 2 hours ago
- Fascinating article
24 weeks 4 days ago
Tweets from @thefuturebook
TheFutureBook RT @CathyReadsBooks: Great subject for next @thebookseller essay comp. Changing the DNA of the reader | FutureBook t.co/5SL4JACuCi v…
TheFutureBook RT @michaelbhaskar: Next in the @thebookseller Essay series announced: t.co/B2E2B4ispy On reading. Entries to @philipdsjones by 23rd…
TheFutureBook MT @tomroper to @RichardMollet CILIP is not 'UK off-shoot' of EBLIDA. 'There is nothing wrong with wanting to provide patrons with e-books'