$15 To Turn off "Special Offers" Bravo Amazon.com!

With the announcement of the Kindle Fire HD, some users were upset to learn that Amazon was going to stuff “special offers” on the device. But the company quickly retreated, and now is offering the option to turn of the ads for a mere $15.

This is a good development for consumers. We should have the choice to move away from ad-supported business models. As I explain with my co-author Jan Whittington, there is a cost to free business models. “Free,” ad-supported services are packed with hidden costs to privacy and other consumer interests.

While the ads are gone, there is still no word on whether Amazon will reduce tracking of Kindle users. Without backing off on tracking, this is not a pure privacy play.

And an interesting data point–how is it that Amazon is willing to give up these special offers for only $15, given that “customers love our special offers“?