What the Amazon Acquisition of Westland Says About the Indian Publishing Industry
Excitement of this kind is quite rare in the publishing industry. The last came a few years ago when Random House took over Penguin. And now this Amazon buyout of Westland has given the industry an interesting conversation beginner. Amazon had signaled their intent in February this year when they acquired minority stake in Westland from Tata-Trent. It was known at that time itself that Amazon was not in this deal for a minority stake. Those who read the deal closely knew that at some point in time, Amazon would take over the company. That it would happen so soon (within six months of the initial acquisition) no one really anticipated.
The acquisition can only be good for Westland. They move from being owned by Tata Trent – someone who can at best be called “a reluctant owner” – to someone who would want to grow Westland into a premier publisher, maybe one of the largest in India.