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Sydney Retailer Holds Kindle Amnesty, Hits Out At Amazon "Predatory Pricing"

By Oonagh Reidy | Tuesday | 19/11/2013

Pages & Pages boss hits out at Amazon predatory pricing, and calls for Kindle Amnesty 2.0

The Internet behemoth launched Amazon Australia webstore last week, and is now tipped to be a major player in the market, locally, with 2 million eBooks, Kindle ereaders and tablets. 

"I'm glad Amazon is charging GST in Australia for the first time", says Jon Page, General Manager, Pages & Pages book store in Sydney suburb of Mosman, but hit out at its anti competitive practices. 

Pages & Pages are holding a Kindle Amnesty 2.0, today to promote other non Kindle e reader alternatives to Aussie booklovers, an event which has got worldwide attention. 

Kindle owners are invited to bring in their ereader to Mosman store and purchase a Kobo eReader, instead. 

In exchange for their Kindle, consumers will receive a $50 Kobo gift voucher to spend on ebooks - there 3.5 million in the Kobo library - over 1m more than its rival, Amazon. 

Canadian-based Kobo is backing the Pages & Page Kindle Amnesty and has partnered up with Australian Booksellers Association. 

Amazon closed eco system means Kindle owners can buy Amazon ebooks only, which is "not fair". Amazon doesn't communicate this fact with consumers either, says Page. Kindle is the default term for ereader which is "inaccurate", he says

Kobo is an open platform and technically superior ereader - its Aura HD has a highest resolution screen on the market.

Page also hope ACCC can looks into what he alleges are Amazon's predatory pricing tactics, selling well below cost price.

"Amazon lock competition out" but lock users in, and rarely make money. However, the US based giant has "deep pockets" - many of Kindle titles cost as little as A$1.05. 

"Its hard to compete when you're up against a company that makes $12bn a quarter".  

"Its been a tough year," admits Page, but says "Christmas is starting early"

Print titles still make up the majority of sales, - ebooks account for just 15%-20% of book sales, so paper backs are definitely "not being wiped out" by cheaper digital books.  

In the US this figure is 30%, meanings Oz is about two years behind. 

There been a lot of growth in ebook market in OZ, says Page.

The Kindle Amnesty is kicking off today, and on going for the foreseeable future. 

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