Stephen Colbert enters Amazon-Hachette battle

Colbert entered the Hachette-Amazon fight by condemning he strong-arm tactics of the online retailer and in the process giving them the one-finger salute.
By Ananth Baliga  |  June 5, 2014 at 1:53 PM
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NEW YORK, June 5 (UPI) -- Comedian Stephen Colbert, an author with Hachette Book Group, spent a segment on his show Wednesday night discussing the controversy surrounding Amazon and the publisher.

Colbert took on the online retailer, which is trying to renegotiate its contact with Hachette Book Group by trying to dissuade customers from buying the publisher's books. The comedian went on a rant using puns based on Hachette titles and even called Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos "Lord Bezo-mort" for removing the pre-order button for The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, the pseudonym of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

"I'm not just mad at Amazon," he said. "I'm mad prime."

Colbert also mocked Amazon's suggestion that customers looking to buy his book should purchase a used book.

"Folks, publishers and authors get no cash from used book sales. Plus, you don't want them. Used books are the sluts of the literary world, passed around from person to person, spreading their pages for anyone, getting cheaper and cheaper until eventually they wind up in prison," said Colbert.

During the segment, Colbert brought out a special package for Amazon that "ships immediately" and opened to it to reveal a one-finger salute for the online retailer. To add insult to injury he then proceeded to double down on the salute.

Amazon is not only the biggest online retailer, it also accounts for 60 percent of the e-books market, according to research firm Forrester Research. Amazon has been negotiating with Hachette and other publishers for a bigger cut of the retail price of e-books so that it can continue to offer discounts and boost its own margins.

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