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Friday News: Music market controlled by four labels; Walmart says no...

Wait, it’s Friday already?

In the memo, Wal-Mart said the decision was consistent with its overall merchandising strategy. While Wal-Mart dwarfs other retailers in overall sales, it trails Amazon and others online and has been stepping up efforts to increase its presence there. Consumers who buy Kindle tablets such as the new Kindle Fire HD can shop on the devices for more than just digital books, pushing Amazon into further competition with stores. NBC

Sony responded: Peter Shea, general manager for Sony Digital Reading Services, said the retailer recognised “that there is a concern about a perceived devaluation of ebooks”, and that it chose the price point of 20p for some titles “as we see this as such a significant discount off list price that consumers can appreciate it is not the ‘new price of ebooks’.” Guardian

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Magazine and Book Distributor Suspending Normal Business Activities

Anderson News announced last month it would charge 7c per copy to the publisher for the distribution of magazines and books. Publishers balked and refused to ship the content to Anderson News. Now Anderson News has suspended “Normal Business Activities.” The distributor services 40,000 outlets including 2300 Wal-mart stores.

Most reports speak only about the effect on magazines, particularly weeklies, and not so much on the book distribution aspect. However, one VP said that this is 50% of the distribution market gone.

There are other distributors ready to take up the abandoned market but it will take some time for contractual issues to work itself out.