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Ingram dominates Amazon supply

The distributor bought by Barnes & Noble supplies nearly 60 percent of Amazon.com's books, an SEC filing shows.

Jeff Pelline Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Jeff Pelline is editor of CNET News.com. Jeff promises to buy a Toyota Prius once hybrid cars are allowed in the carpool lane with solo drivers.
Jeff Pelline
2 min read
Ingram, the book distributor that Barnes & Noble acquired last week, supplies Amazon.com, a competing online bookseller, with nearly 60 percent of its books, a regulatory filing disclosed today.

Barnes & Noble and Ingram have said that the merger will not affect Ingram's relationships with its customers, including Amazon. But in Amazon's quarterly 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company notes that it "does not have long-term contracts or arrangements with most of its vendors guaranteeing the availability of merchandise," and that "there can be no assurance that the company's current vendors will continue to sell merchandise to the company on current terms, or that the company will be able to establish new or extend current vendor relationships."

Amazon.com, which aims to diversify its supplier base, also buys books from another distributor, Baker & Taylor, and has been increasing direct purchasing from publishers.

When the Ingram-Barnes & Noble deal was announced on November 6, Amazon.com immediately questioned the deal. "The combination of the country's biggest book retailer with its biggest publisher group, undoubtedly will raise industry-wide concerns," Amazon.com said at the time. The deal is subject to approval from the Federal Trade Commission.

Amazon.com's SEC filing also said a there will be a hearing on December 2 in a lawsuit filed by Arkansas-based Wal-Mart against Amazon.com, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Drugstore.com, alleging violation of Arkansas trade-secret laws. The purpose of the suit is to stop "raiding of [Wal-Mart's] proprietary and highly confidential information systems by Amazon.com and others through the use of former Wal-Mart associates," according to the lawsuit. Amazon.com denies the charges.