IQ2US: Is Amazon a friend to readers?

Feb 23, 2015

This week on Intelligence Squared U.S., debate on the question "Is Amazon a friend to readers?" In late 2014, Amazon and the publishing house HachetteĀ settled a months-long dispute over who should set the price for e-books.

In Amazon's view, lower prices mean more sales and more readers, and that benefits everyone. But for publishers, the price of an e-book must reflect the investment made, from the author's advance to a book's production.

The conflict, resolved for now, has only raised more questions about the value of books, Amazon's business practices, and the role of publishers. Is book publishing an oligopoly, a dinosaur in need of disruption? Is Amazon, which accounts for 41% of all new book sales and 67% of all e-book sales, a monopoly? Who is doing right by readers and the future of books?

Tune in this Sunday, March 1 at 7 p.m. on WRVO.