Is There a Conflict of Interest with Amazon Owning IMDB?

Other than Amazon, one of the largest online retailers having a great link system going with their IMDB site could there be a possible conflict of interest?  From a business standpoint probably not, unless their trademarked STARmeterTM and MOVIEmeterTM algorithms include sales generated for Amazon by IMDB.  However, that is not mentioned on the IMDB website as one of the factors.  http://www. imdb. com/help/show_leaf?prowhatisstarmeter

If not a conflict of interest, something a bit peculiar does occur when one tries to leave a comment.  One is faced with an option of how to have the account verified.  Given three choices to verify, those being; use your Amazon account, use a credit card or release your phone number to IMDB and Amazon.  Keep in mind, this is just to simply leave a comment on a movie website.  Also keep in mind that any comments or reviews written on the website become the sole property of the website.

The problem arises when you select the least menacing of the three options.  Selecting Amazon account seems innocuous however, if you have not purchased something from Amazon .com in the past year, you are denied access to comment on the IMDB website.  Is it absolutely necessary to go to this level of security in order to comment on a website?  Probably not, but IMDB covers this question on their site by writing:

Why do I need to do this?

You don’t. Providing additional authentication for your account is completely voluntary, but doing so will allow you to post on the message boards, report abuse on the message boards system, send private messages to other users, contribute information on our IMDb FAQ pages, and other cool features on this site restricted to users with authentication status.

While it does seem a bit unfair to restrict fans from commenting on their favorite movies, it is absolutely the prerogative of a movie fan driven website to ask for your credit card, phone number or that you purchase at least one thing in the past year from Amazon. com right?  What are your thoughts on this?  Are there other sites where one can go and freely comment on their favorite movies, actors and actresses?  If so, let us know.


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