The New York Times reported yesterday on the latest move from online retail giant Amazon in its battle for supremacy with the suppliers of the merchandise it sells. It seems that Amazon is no longer taking pre-orders on Warner Bros. videos, including the massively popular Lego Movie and 300: Rise of an Empire. Presumably, Amazon hopes that the lack of pre-orders will pressure Warner into lowering the prices of its videos so that Amazon can sell them for cheaper than other companies, forcing them out of the market. The end game, once Amazon is the last retailer standing, would be to have all of the world's consumers at their mercy, at which point Amazon will enslave the human race. Or something.
I don't know. I like buying things on Amazon, because it is cheap and easy, but more and more, the company is revealing itself to be immensely evil, with shitty working conditions for their employees, its war with suppliers which mostly hurts authors, and their recent purchase of digital comics retailer comiXology and subsequent attempts to force comics readers to switch over to Amazon's ecosystem. This is, of course, a standard practice in the industry. Google and Apple want the same thing, and Apple tends to be just as aggressive in pursuing it.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at a board meeting discussing corporate strategies.
Overall, while lower prices seem like a good deal for consumers in the short term, in the long term, a lack of competition will enable giant corporations to treat customers like shit. Just look at cable companies and internet service providers if you think that, once a corporation has youre undivided attention, they're going to continue treating you right.
So if you're looking to pre-order The Lego Movie, please consider going elsewhere. Preferably somewhere less evil. For instance, Walmart has... no, they're even more evil. Um... well, fuck. Actually, you should just wait until it comes out and buy it from a local small business.
UPDATE: Our own BK Thomson pre-ordered The Lego Movie on April 6th, and it looks like he is still slated to get it. So if you pre-ordered a WB movie before mid-may, when Amazon stopped taking them, you will probably receive your merchandise.