A friend, on her blog, compared Amazon's decision to Safeway or Kroger deciding not to carry Hershey products.
No, it's more like Safeway or Kroger not carrying any meat, or any dairy products, or any fruit and veg—or maybe all Kraft products, since we're talking about giant conglomerates. And neither Safeway nor Kroger nor the two of them together gets at the dominance of Amazon in the American book market: Walmart is, in fact, the largest grocery chain in the U.S. (as well as the largest retail chain overall). Imagine Walmart decided to stop selling Kraft. Well, OK, other giant conglomerates sell similar products, right?
But that argument takes books as interchangeable products and recognizes no difference between them. Imagine your library decided that, to save money, they would stop buying any book whose author's name started with letters A through E.
Amazon's entire premise as a business is that they carry everything and can ship it to you anywhere. That universal access is how they've stolen business from brick and mortar stores, both chain and independent. And now they've reneged on that deal, for the sole purpose of ensuring future profit.
I've got no problem with either side taking extreme positions about the pricing of ebooks, restricting access, whatever: I ain't got no dog in that fight. But Amazon has also removed all print books published by Macmillan and all its subsidiaries, which represents about 15% of the books published in the U.S. (depending on how you measure). Amazon in turn probably represents a third to a half of Macmillan's sales, and they're counting on that pressure to force Macmillan's hand. Amazon expects consumers to follow blindly in the ruts it has trained them to, not give a fuck about the actual product, and only care about getting it delivered to them at home as cheaply as possible.
Readers are not the target of Amazon's attack. Readers are their armies and their ammunition. If you choose to participate by remaining an Amazon customer, you are signing up to serve in their army—and, either now or later, you will be sacrificed to their profit goals.
Update 31 Jan: Amazon has caved.