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Subject: Amazon halts Lego Movie pre-orders in row over pricings

Written By: Philip Eno on 06/12/14 at 5:54 am

Amazon has halted pre-orders of some Warner Bros films in the US, including The Lego Movie, in a pricing dispute.

A similar dispute with publisher Hachette has been ongoing since May.

Amazon's powerful grip on the online marketplace has seen it flex its muscles over contracts with suppliers.

The movie is available for pre-order on Amazon sites outside the US and can be purchased from Amazon Instant Video. Neither Warner nor Amazon responded to requests for comment on the dispute.

In May Amazon removed the pre-order buttons for a number of book titles published by Hachette, including JK Rowling's new detective novel, The Silkworm.

Authors with the publishing house were quick to criticise the web giant.

"Amazon wants to control book buying, book selling and even book publishing," said James Patterson in a speech to independent booksellers.

In a statement on the Kindle forum, Amazon Books said: "When we negotiate with suppliers, we are doing so on behalf of customers."

It encouraged users to shop elsewhere while the row was ongoing.

"If you do need one of the affected titles quickly, we regret the inconvenience and encourage you to purchase a new or used version from one of our third-party sellers or from one of our competitors," the post read.

Amazon has a history of disputes with publishers and four years ago removed titles from publisher Macmillan during contract talks.

Experts estimate that Amazon controls about a 50% share of the book market - both electronic and physical - in the US.

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