Followers Following Followers Refusing to Follow

Does Jeff Bezos give a damn that over 1,000 writers from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have now joined with over 900 authors from the United States to protest Amazon’s business practices? Does Jeff Bezos give a damn that over 1,000 writers from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have now similarly signed a letter that claims that Amazon “manipulates recommendation lists”?  Does Jeff Bezos give a damn that over 1,000 writers from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have now charged Amazon with making false statements about books put out by Bonnier, a publisher which, like Hachette, is taking on Bezos’s behemoth over e-book prices?

If he doesn’t, he should. First, you never want to get into a pissing match with large numbers of your suppliers. Second, you never want to get embroiled in a battle that blackens your name – over and over and over again. And third Bezos should know better than anyone else that in 2014 complaints are contagious – if they’re legit they go viral. The likelihood, in short, that Bezos can crush these now nearly 2,000 authors without getting his hands even a little bit bloody is small.

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