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Amazon in dispute with publisher over new business contract

Global online retailer Amazon is in a heated dispute with book publisher Hatchette Book Group. Apparently, Amazon's proposed contract with Hatchette for 2015 asks the publisher to pay more to ensure its titles, which include those written by James Patterson and J.K. Rowling, appear in the appropriate place on the site's search results. Hatchette, on the other hand, wants to go back to the older pricing scheme that it feels was fairer for its business model.

Many believe Amazon's tactics are being used to strengthen its already dominant place in the book market. The online retailer already controls nearly half of the book market, including a 65 percent market share of digital book sales. Its powerful position may give Amazon an upper hand in contract negotiations, as publishers who refuse to do business with them may end up losing a significant amount of sales.

Contracts are a necessity to ensure businesses operate efficiently and that they and their owners' interests are properly protected. Whether a business is looking to buy another company, sell a portion of their own company, enter into a sales agreement with another business or hire an employee, a contract can spell out the terms of the agreement that ensures all bases are covered.

However, it is vital that businesses and their owners ensure their contracts are carefully drafted. Failing to do so could result in unintended consequences and litigation. Therefore, when a business needs help negotiating and drafting business contracts, it may be helpful to have the assistance of an experienced New Jersey legal team. Attorneys experienced with contract drafting and handling contract disputes can provide the protection businesses need to survive and thrive in a world where a seemingly minor slipup can be disastrous.

Source: Industry Leaders Magazine, "Retail Industry Leader Amazon under the Noose?," Carrie Ann, May 31, 2014

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