Stephen Colbert takes on Amazon

Stephen Colbert takes on Amazon

Credit: Getty Images

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 24: Comedian Stephen Colbert reacts as he testifies during a hearing before the Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee September 24, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The hearing was to examine the needs of immigration agricultural workers for the farming industry. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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by CBS News

khou.com

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Stephen Colbert's special delivery for Amazon was blunt.

"I think you're really going to like it. Oh, wait a second! Here it is," he said, flipping his middle finger into the camera on the "Colbert Report" Wednesday.

"Hey Amazon! Customers who enjoy this also bought this," he said, flipping his other middle finger.

Colbert's tirade was just the latest salvo in a nasty fight pitting two book world titans against each other, reports CBS News' Elaine Quijano.

"I am not just mad at Amazon. I am mad Prime," he said, punning Amazon's premium service.

The online retail giant is in a long-running dispute with Hachette, which is owned by a French publishing conglomerate.

Michael Cader, founder of Publishersmarketplace.com, says Amazon is demanding bigger commissions on e-book sales from Hachette and that other publishers are next.

"What we're hearing, what's being reported, is that Amazon wants to change that commission to 40 percent or even 50 percent," Cader said.

The dispute hurts everyone involved.

"It's a case in which there are no real winners so far, right? Everyone is either losing sales or losing in public reputation or losing an ability to reach readers,"

When Hachette balked, Amazon, the largest book seller in the U.S., retaliated by removing preorder buttons on Hachette's upcoming titles and delaying shipments of current ones.

Authors like Malcolm Gladwell, David Sedaris and JK Rowling were affected.

"A vicious tactic by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, or should I say, Lord Bezomort?" Colbert said on his show.

Click here to read more at CBSNews.com.

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