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Amazon has a new standoff, with Disney

Online retailer Amazon blocks pre-orders as it presses for bigger share of profits from sale of Disney products.
BY CECILIA KANG, THE WASHINGTON POST Published: August 12, 2014
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Amazon.com’s business tactics and power over the retail and media economy are again under the spotlight with a new dispute spilling into public view, this time with a media powerhouse: Disney.

The online retailer reportedly removed pre-orders of DVDs and Blu-ray discs for the Walt Disney Co.’s blockbuster movies “Captain America: The Winter’s Soldier” and “Maleficent,” according to Home Media Magazine.

By blocking pre-orders of films as a negotiating tactic, Amazon is flexing its muscles over how much it gets per sale as a distributor of Disney’s films and merchandise, analysts say. Amazon has used a similar approach with Time Warner’s home video division this year, blocking pre-orders of discs for films including “The Lego Movie.”

Amazon and Disney did not return requests for comment.

The dispute will not immediately hurt Disney, because DVDs are a small part of its overall revenue, analysts say. But box-office sales have been lackluster and movie studios have placed greater attention on DVD and Blu-ray sales to extend the profits of its films.

The pricing dispute comes at a time when media and distribution companies are converging, with Amazon Instant Video serving as both a partner and competitor with Disney and other Hollywood studios.

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