Wal-Mart, Amazon in book price war

Laptop with Wal-Mart logo.

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: It's a price war in the book business. Wal-Mart and Amazon are going at it, just in time for the holidays. Marketplace's Steve Henn has more.


Steve Henn: Wal-Mart fired the first shot. Yesterday it slashed the price of 10 highly anticipated, new hardcover books to just $10 if the customers pre-ordered online. Within hours, Amazon matched the offer. But Wal-Mart wasn't going to be outdone. Now it's promising to drop its prices to just $9 by this morning.

Joe Feldman at the Telsey Group says the only way Amazon and Wal-Mart are making money on this are if they've negotiated big price cuts from publishers.

Joe Feldman: The big issue is how much they can leverage their buying power

Feldman says driving traffic to their sites will help drive additional sales. Still...

Feldman: The publishing industry could be under pressure from this.

Feldman says Wal-Mart clearly signaling its intention tobe a top competitor in the online world. And as in every other business, Wal-Mart will get there by pushing for price cuts.

In Washington, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

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