Business

Amazon blocks orders of some movies

Amazon customers will not be able to buy such films as “The Lego Movie’’ in advance because of the retailer’s  pricing spat with Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Pictures via AP/file
Amazon customers will not be able to buy such films as “The Lego Movie’’ in advance because of the retailer’s pricing spat with Warner Bros.

NEW YORK —Amazon.com Inc. isn’t accepting advance orders for Warner Bros. movies on its website, the latest of the online retailer’s contract feuds to spill into public view.

Customers trying to order films such as ‘‘The Lego Movie’’ and ‘‘Winter’s Tale’’ are instead asked to sign up to be notified when the item becomes available. Digital downloads of the movies are available for purchase through Amazon Instant Video.

The world’s biggest online retailer is seeking concessions from Warner Bros. that would give it a bigger slice of the sales of DVDs and digital versions of its movies, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

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Amazon is already in a standoff with Hachette Book Group over e-book pricing in a tussle that will help determine whether publishers can gain any leverage against the online retailer and biggest seller of e-books. To ratchet up pressure on Hachette, Amazon started delaying shipments and blocking some book advance orders — including titles such as ‘‘The Silkworm,’’ J.K. Rowling’s new novel written under a pseudonym.

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Contract disputes between a retailer and suppliers are not new, yet keeping certain items from consumers as a result of a spat is rarer. Amazon’s strategy contradicts its longtime philosophy of giving customers a simple way to order almost everything online.

Bloomberg News