News Column

Amazon Blocks 'Lego Movie' in Dispute With Warner Bros.

June 11, 2014

Dominic Rushen, The Guardian

Amazon has expanded its trade dispute with content suppliers by adding Warner Brothers to the list of companies it is pressuring for a better deal. The online retailer has pulled pre-orders for forthcoming Warner Home Video features, including the blockbuster Lego Movie, 300: Rise of an Empire, Winter's Tale and Transcendence.

The move comes as Amazon continues to delay shipments and refuse pre-orders for some titles from Hachette, publisher of JK Rowling's adult fiction, and home to David Baldacci, Stephen Colbert and others.

The details of the dispute are not public. Amazon is fighting with Hachette over the price of ebooks, and analysts speculate that a similar dispute could be at play with Warner over the pricing of digital copies of its films.

The Lego Movie has so far made more than pounds 274m worldwide, according to The DVD is released on 17 June, but doesn't appear in a search for "The Lego Movie" on Amazon. On it is the top-placed item for the same search.

Boxoffice's Phil Contrino said he expected The Lego Movie to be massive, adding: "DVD sales are falling away to digital copies, but this is a film that plays to families, who are still more likely to buy DVDs." Amazon will face another test later next week with the release of Rowling's latest crime thriller. Released under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, her next crime novel, The Silkworm, hits stores on 19 June.

Last year, after Rowling was revealed to be the author of the first Galbraith novel, The Cuckoo's Calling, the novel became Amazon's top seller.

Amazon said last month: "Negotiating with suppliers for equitable terms and making stocking decisions based on those terms is one of a bookseller's, or any retailer's, most important jobs."


Original headline: Lego blocked Amazon row with Warner hits DVD release

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Source: (c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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