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February 17th, 2010
11:06 AM ET

Corporate giants have too much power

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/TECH/12/03/kindle.electronic.reader/art.kindle2.gi.jpg caption="Dispute over e-book prices between Amazon and the publisher are a power play, says Barry C. Lynn."]

Barry C. Lynn
Special to CNN

Late in January, the book publisher Macmillan told Amazon it wanted to raise the prices of its books sold through the online retailer. Amazon made clear it wanted to continue to set prices for Macmillan's books, as it does for most books it sells.

To make sure the publisher understood it was serious, Amazon cut the links that enable people to buy Macmillan's books via Amazon's Web site. For more than a week, you could still see Macmillan books on Amazon; you just couldn't order one.

Even though the two companies have since struck a truce, the showdown should deeply concern anyone who cares not merely about the health of this vital industry, but about concentration of political power in America.

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