Amazon has responded to a joint decision by three of New York’s large multinational publishers to delay e-book release of their big titles. In a move described by publishing insiders as “thuggish,” Amazon announced it was discounting those very titles still further to customers who pre-order them now— to $7.99. The dispute seems no longer to be about pricing but who will control the future book trade. Publishers “don’t want Amazon to be the only game in town,” says Jim Milliot, senior editor at Publishers Weekly. “They view e-books and e-book readers as inevitable, but they don’t really know how it’s going to shake out.” And they don’t want Amazon setting the prices.