Over the past seven years, comiXology has become the dominant force in digital comics thanks to deals with almost all of the major comic book publishers and a highly successful app on Apple’s iTunes store.
That success has not gone unnoticed and it apparently made comiXology an attractive company to potential buyers. Today, Amazon and comiXology jointly announced that Amazon will be buying the company. Terms of the sale were not released. but it was revealed that comiXology will continue to be based in New York.
ComiXology already had a near monopoly on digital comic sales, so it isn’t immediately clear how this will affect the digital comic market. However, Amazon is notoriously aggressive with its pricing as a way to challenge brick and mortar stores as opposed to comiXology; which had previously entered into partnerships with comic book stores.
For independent comic book creators, the comiXology Submit program has become one of the easier ways to distribute a comic without having a publisher attached to it. According to comments made in a conference call (via The Beat) Comixology CEO David Steinberger indicated that the Submit program will continue. Although this statement was less encouraging:
“Amazon doesn’t make a lot of plans before it makes an acquisition, so we’ll have to figure it all out over time. But Kindle Digital Publishing has been big for us and so we love Comixology Submit. Comixology has had a positive impact on physical and digital comics.”
If Amazon doesn’t “make a lot of plans” before it gobbles up a company then that makes it seem like the purchase of comiXology was nothing more than Amazon’s attempt to corner the digital comic book marketplace.
Time will tell if Amazon's strategy was successful.