A standoff over e-book prices took a turn for the surreal last week.
Profit-grabbing online retail giant Amazon and profit-grabbing publishing giant Hachette each made a bid for the moral high ground.
In an open letter to readers, Amazon bosses channelled George Orwell. Incidentally, his books Animal Farm and 1984 were deleted from Amazon customers’ devices in 2009 to settle a copyright dispute.
Amazon say Hachette has illegally and cynically acted to keep e-books expensive. This is true.
Hachette bosses say “Amazon is seeking a lot more profit” at the expense of authors and shopkeepers. This is also true.
But each firm’s claim to be in it for anything other than their own greed is a work of pure fiction.