As President Obama visits an Amazon.com distribution center Tuesday, the online retailer is reducing the prices of several of the president’s books, just weeks after the Justice Department successfully prosecuted Amazon’s competitors in the publishing world for price-fixing.
The paperback version of Mr. Obama’s 2004 book, “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance,” has been reduced from $14.95 to $10.76. Amazon has cut the price of a hardcover copy of the 2010 book, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters,” by Mr. Obama and Loren Long, from $17.99 to $12.95.
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And Amazon said at noon on Tuesday that if customers order the books within the next six hours, they’d be eligible for free “super-saver shipping.”
The bookseller is in a price war with Overstock.com, which launched an effort to have its book prices at least 10 percent lower than Amazon.
The trade publication Shelf Aware said Amazon’s “boldness” on prices could be owing to “its apparently cozy relationship with the Obama administration,” whose Justice Department gained a victory against five major publishers earlier this month in its claim that they engaged in a conspiracy with Apple to raise e-book prices.
Amazon could be “emboldened to engage in dramatic price cutting —which hurts traditional bricks-and-mortar stores and feeds consumer perception that a fair book price is lower than its cost — by the Justice Department’s victory,” Shelf Awareness said.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Mr. Obama will sit for an interview during the stop with the editor of Amazon Kindle Singles, David Blum.