Amazon's Content Conundrum
Amazon.com (AMZN) may be stuck between a rock and a hard place -- and operating margins may again be a key factor.
Despite a planned lawsuit from the American Humane Society, Amazon announced Thursday that it would not stop selling magazine titles about cockfighting like Gamecock and Feathered Warrior.
The Humane Society has alleged that Amazon is profiting from violating the federal Animal Welfare Act.
This isn't the first time Amazon has faced criticism for offensive content. Last summer, the company agreed to remove a DVD titled Hood Fights 2 from its listings, although a check of the company's Web site by The Associated Press on Wednesday found the listing had reappeared (although Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith was quoted as saying the videos in question would be removed).And Amazon continues to list DVDs such as Ghetto Brawls, Ghetto Fights Presents: Wildest Street Brawls, Vol. 1, and Ghetto Fights Presents Wildest Street Brawls, Vol. 2, a check by TheStreet.com revealed. Such products seem to run counter to a company whose public face is permanently sunny founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. Removing the items would almost seem like an easy decision, even if it weren't for the lawsuit and all the potential negative publicity. But Amazon instead is taking the line that refusing to sell products because they offend is tantamount to censorship, according to the AP. "The customer is the best judge of what is and isn't appropriate for their reading habits," Amazon's Smith said.
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