The Author’s Guild is tracking Amazon’s tactic of removing buy buttons as a way of controlling certain publishers they consider “unruly.” According to the Authors Guild:
The buy buttons are removed, then Amazon calls the publisher and suggests it's time to talk termsThe site has a chronology of the Buy-Button Removal, from 2008 to today. In 2010, the latest entry is called “The Big One.” It appears Amazon removed “buy buttons from nearly all Macmillan titles, not just from e-books, but from physical books….”
Although Amazon has done this sort of thing before, it appears this has a new twist:
Amazon makes its first known use of its buy button weapon to use its heft in the physical book industry to exert control over a new format: e-booksUnless you’re with Macmillan, it doesn’t seem that this will affect you…now. Who knows what moves will happen in the future, though. You can get more details on the site. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.