There have been so many twists and turns in this everyday story of booktrade folk that I have grown weary of even thinking about it, let alone saying anything here. But it seems, subject, no doubt, to the whims of the gods, that HMV (owners of the UK bookselling chain Waterstone's) are at last about to buy Ottakar's (a smaller chain). Reuters have the story (link from booktrade.info).
There are those who feel that this is a thoroughly bad thing for writers and publishers, in that it will reduce competition on the UK high street, and create an entity even more powerful than the present Waterstone's, i.e. one which can bully the publishers to an even geater extent than is the case today.