Target ditching Kindle line over 'conflict of interest'?

That's the word from The Verge, which claims to have spoken with a source who says Target will soon remove the Amazon Kindle line from its brick-and-mortar store shelves.

Amazon's Kindle Fire won't be available at Target, according to a report.
Amazon's Kindle Fire won't be available at Target, according to a report. Sarah Tew/CNET

Target has decided to remove Amazon's entire Kindle line from store shelves, according to a new report.

As of May 13, Target will no longer accept shipments of Amazon's Kindle line, The Verge is reporting, citing a source. An internal memo the blog received doesn't say why the mega-retailer decided to make the move, but makes it clear that the company "has made the decision to no longer carry Amazon hardware." The retailer will still offer Kindle accessories.

The New York Times reported yesterday that Target was tired of consumers using its stores as a showroom for products to be purchased later online through Amazon. It's a practice it calls "showrooming" and one that Target believes is actively promoted by Amazon.

A quick search for the Kindle on Target's Web site reveals that the devices are not available for purchase.

According to The Verge's source, the decision to discontinue the Kindle line in Target stores relates to a "conflict of interest."

Still, the Kindle has been a success for Target. The retailer announced last year that the Kindle Fire was its top-selling tablet , even beating out Apple's iPad. Target has been selling Amazon's Kindles since 2010.

It's unlikely the loss of Target as a distribution arm will hurt too much. The Kindle is sold in other stores, as well as Amazon's own online store.

CNET has contacted both Target and Amazon for comment on this story. We will update this story when we have more information.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. PT: to include additional background from the New York Times regarding the reason behind Target dropping the Kindle.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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