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What Did Mickey Do Wrong, Amazon?

August 12, 2014 By Heather Fletcher
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Air bags. Ammunition. Explosives. Gasoline. These are examples of items the U.S. Postal Service won't mail.

Nowhere in there is the notice that USPS will delay or deny delivery of Disney and Warner Bros. movies and Hachette books. Amazon appears to be replaying the history that caused the formation of the USPS, with a slight twist. Instead of charging an extra 2 cents for door-to-door delivery, Amazon is requesting larger profits directly from the marketers.

Disney, Hachette and Warner Bros. may not be the only marketers to get into a dispute with Amazon, but they are the ones doing so publicly. Disney is the latest brand to enter a standoff, which has "Captain America" blocked from preorder in a way that even the super soldier can't fight, the Wall Street Journal reports on Aug. 10.

Amazon's tactics are prompting new entities to enter the package shipping marketplace, including Google Shopping Express. Google now offers same-day delivery of Barnes & Noble books in Manhattan, San Francisco and West Los Angeles.

What Amazon is doing may be playing into the hands of postal service proponents who say private carriers put profit above the public interest, because debates are starting about the "cost of consumerism."

According to the USPS, it's not the first time this debate's come up in the package delivery business: "In the 19th and early 20th centuries, private express companies ruled the package delivery market until Congress, concerned about the high rates being charged, authorized the Post Office Department to begin carrying larger parcels to provide an alternative for customers." (Opens as a PDF)

 
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