Amazon halts preorders of some Disney movie discs

Move is reminiscent of contract disputes the Internet retailer has with Warner Home Video and book publisher Hachette.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. CNET

Amazon has restricted preorders of some movies from Disney in an apparent contract dispute with another media giant.

Preorder options are currently unavailable at the Internet retailer for physical copies of "Muppets Most Wanted," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "Million Dollar Arm," and "Maleficent." However, preorders of digital versions on Amazon Instant Video are still available.

The situation is reminiscent of an apparent dispute between Amazon and Warner Home Video in which preorders of discs for "The Lego Movie," "Transcendence," and "300: Rise of an Empire" vanished from the site earlier this summer. Amazon hasn't publicly commented on that situation, but it's thought that the move is intended to apply pressure on Warner to gain greater margin on each sale.

Amazon has admitted to employing a similar strategy in a contract negotiations standoff with book publisher Hachette. Amazon said in May it was restricting sales of titles from the publisher after the two were unable to agree on mutually acceptable contract terms. Amazon did not elaborate on the terms proposed but defended the move as a legitimate negotiating tactic aimed at getting more value for consumers.

The apparent conflict was first reported HomeMediaMagazine. CNET has contacted Amazon and Disney for comment and will update this report when we learn more.


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