Amazon's fight against book publishers, who have long claimed the e-commerce site is bad for their bottom line, has taken a turn for the ugly. The company seems to have abandoned its customer-first approach to customer service in a bid to leverage its power to the detriment of publisher Hachette.

Amazon is reportedly employing dirty tactics to dissuade customers from purchasing physical books published by Hachette. It has, for instance, removed pre-order buttons, slowed shipment times to up to several weeks, and raised prices on Hachette titles by cutting its typically steep discounts. Though Amazon has managed to send a clear message to the publishing house, customers and authors are the ones most directly affected.

"Amazon clearly has substantial market power and is abusing that market power to maintain and increase its dominance, which likely violates Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act,” said Jan Constantine, of the Authors Guild. 

Sounds pretty petty.

[via The New York Times]