Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads is a textbook example of how modern Internet monopolies can be built … The key is to eliminate or absorb competitors before they pose a serious threat. With its 16 million subscribers, Goodreads could easily have become a competing on-line bookseller, or played a role in directing buyers to a site other than Amazon. Instead, Amazon has scuttled that potential and also squelched what was fast becoming the go-to venue for on-line reviews, attracting far more attention than Amazon for those seeking independent assessment and discussion of books. As those in advertising have long known, the key to driving sales is controlling information.
If you want to hear more from Turow, we hosted a three-part interview with the author. Follow these links to watch.