Recently, there have been a couple of news pieces that demonstrate others are sick of Ama - er, um SPECTRE's business practices and are willing to sing out.
First there was an interview with the noted literary agent Andrew Wylie which appeared in The New Republic, a man reknown for his outspokeness as well as his insistance on representing authors and books of "enduring quality". Having been in the publishing business for a great, long time, and having done a little bit of business with SPECTRE, he has strong opinions.
"Question: Do you feel as hostile toward Amazon as you used to?
Answer: I think that Napoleon was a terrific guy before he started crossing national borders. Over the course of time, his temperament changed, and his behavior was insensitive to the nations he occupied.
Through greed—which it sees differently, as technological development and efficiency for the customer and low price, all that—[Amazon] has walked itself into the position of thinking that it can thrive without the assistance of anyone else. That is megalomania."
The second piece is from the Seattle Times, "Book: Bezos' tactics not for faint of heart" with Jay Greene writing about a new biography of Jeff Bezos by Bloomberg BusinessWeek senior editor Brad Stone. While Green notes that the book delves into some psychological profiling of SPECTRE's creator to explain how the company operates (knowing how erroneous profiles of serial killers have been over the years, we put little stock in them), we point to the end of the article, where the scorched-earth business practices are detailed:
"Stone writes about a 2009 meeting between an Amazon executive and the founders of Quidsi, a startup making a name for itself with mothers with its Diapers.com site. Amazon was planning to move into the category. At first, Quidsi’s founders told Amazon that the company wanted to remain independent. But as Amazon moved into the business, their thinking changed.
Amazon cut prices up to 30 percent, and quickly matched any price movement at Diapers.com. Revenue growth at the startup began to stall and venture capitalists became reluctant to pump new money into the company that was clearly in Amazon’s sights.
Quidsi began talks to be acquired by Amazon archrival Wal-Mart Stores. When the Arkansas retail giant made a lowball bid, Quidsi turned to Amazon. At the exact same time that the Quidsi founders met with Bezos in Seattle, Amazon issued a news release announcing Amazon Mom, a deal that gave them a year of Amazon Prime, with its free two-day shipping, and 30 percent off diapers if they signed up for regular monthly deliveries.
'Quidsi could now taste its own blood,' Stone wrote.
Two months later, Amazon acquired the company for a slight premium over Wal-Mart’s original bid, but below its final offer.
'Bezos’ Khrushchev-like willingness to use the thermonuclear option had had its intended effect,' Stone wrote. 'The Quidsi executives stuck with Amazon, largely out of fear.'"
As Mr. Wylie notes in his interview: "If you eat all the grass on the hill, eventually you don’t have any topsoil, Mr. Bezos."
They call it a 'scorched earth policy' for a reason. Nothing useful is left, nothing is left alive, and nothing can regenerate.
That's SPECTRE's business model.