A few weeks back, I mentioned the dispute between Amazon and the publisher Hachette. As you may already be aware, this dispute has been settled, with the publisher receiving a reasonable portion of the e-book profits it was asking for (at least as far as I understand it). This is good news, of course. It's hard to debate a publisher's desire to share equitably in the profit from their own product. The settlement is being hailed as an important one for publishing in this country.
What the settlement does not address is this: Amazon is a single corporation currently in control of fifty percent of the book market in America. Now, Amazon is, among a vast array of things, a smart company providing a useful, highly-valued service. We are a capitalist country and much of what we are entitled to here is measure by success. Does Amazon's success entitle them to this kind of control and what, exactly, does this kind of control enable them to do?