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Friday, May 30, 2014

How Jeff Bezos's Relentless Pursuit of Profits Will Steamroll Everyone—Yes, Even You—Eventually

Posted by on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 3:24 PM

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Everybody’s talking about Amazon right now. And for once, they’re not talking about Amazon with the respectful awe that typically accompanies Amazon chatter. (“They’re totally creepy, and I love my local bookstore, but I got five pounds of basil, a Doctor Who shower curtain, and six gift-wrapped copies of My Struggle delivered to my front door in less than 24 hours for 20 bucks, soooo…”) The conversation right now feels different. A few days ago, Gawker’s Tom Scocca called for an Amazon boycott, citing the company’s omnidirectional “ruthlessness” and, as he put it, Amazon’s apparent attempt to “extort” financial concessions from a major publisher. Jack Shafer at Reuters wrote about the pain and heartbreak of closing his Amazon account, but he felt compelled to do it for a more personal reason: He thinks Amazon’s snotty corporate attitude is embarrassing its customers. (“I take it personally that the company doesn’t think it owes me even a half-baked explanation for why I can’t buy some books from it.”) For the first time since Amazon began, ordinary people are talking about the company not like it’s a magical blowjob-dispensing internet genie, but like it’s a common playground bully.

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