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Wal-Mart starts book price war

October 17, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Taking a page from its original playbook, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. launched a full-fledged price war against Amazon.com Inc. and the rest of the book-retailing industry, lowering online prices on certain highly anticipated hardback titles to $9.

The volley of discounts, which began Thursday when the retailer listed prices for some upcoming hardcover releases such as Dean Koontz' "Breathless" and Stephen King's "Under the Dome" at $10, was answered with a similar price cut by Amazon, the largest online bookseller. Then the two competitors lowered the prices even further to $9.

The book discounts, the latest in a series of aggressive online maneuvers by the world's largest retailer, could position Wal-Mart to do to the online marketplace what it did to local merchants decades ago.

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