Rupert Murdoch on Friday weighed in, via his Twitter feed of course, on the increasingly contentious battle between book publishers and their main retailing frenemey: Amazon. Murdoch, who uses his Twitter feed for 140-character digital op-eds on everything from education reform to politics to vacation updates, has increasingly gone after the tech giants that have replaced media conglomerates such as his in his tweets. Google has been a favorite target, for instance, with the mogul comparing the search giant’s satellite mapping activities and collection of user data to the NSA.
“Amazon fighting book publishers for higher margins. Result might be cheaper books, but end of all remaining book shops. Monopoly for Amazon,” read Murdoch’s tweet. He followed up with a second one saying, “Publishers and authors all fighting Amazon.”
The tweets relate to Amazon’s ongoing battle with book publishers over pricing, most notably the Hachette Book Group. Amazon is fighting for a standard $9.99 price on e-books, arguing that a low baseline price will increase sales volume. Publishers, of course, say the company, the world’s largest book retailer, cares only about increasing profits and market share.
Murdoch has proven to be among Twitter’s best trolls, and the irony of his Amazon monopoly tweet wasn’t lost on his haters. This is, of course, the same man who controls a vast global media empire that includes the Fox broadcast network, cable networks such as FX and Fox News, a movie studio, newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and New York Post, a 39% stake in BSkyB, and satellite television operations stretching across parts of Europe and Asia.
And, oh yeah, Murdoch also owns the book publisher HarperCollins.
Further, he just recently tried to buy Time Warner for $80 billion.