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The rivalry between Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com escalated sharply this afternoon as B&N lashed out against Amazon’s push for exclusive digital book deals with publishers and authors — saying that the practice undermines the industry — and said that its physical retail stores won’t stock books published by Amazon.com’s fledgling publishing division.

Barnes & Noble’s decision cuts off a large physical distribution channel for the Seattle-based retailer, amounting to a show of force by B&N in response to Amazon’s power in the e-book market.

Here’s the full statement by Jaime Carey, Barnes & Nobles’s chief merchandising author.

“Barnes & Noble has made a decision not to stock Amazon published titles in our store showrooms. Our decision is based on Amazon’s continued push for exclusivity with publishers, agents and the authors they represent. These exclusives have prohibited us from offering certain eBooks to our customers. Their actions have undermined the industry as a whole and have prevented millions of customers from having access to content. It’s clear to us that Amazon has proven they would not be a good publishing partner to Barnes & Noble as they continue to pull content off the market for their own self interest. We don’t get many requests for Amazon titles, but If customers wish to buy Amazon titles from us, we will make them available only online at bn.com.”

Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Brad Stone, author of the magazine’s cover story on Amazon Publishing, first posted the Barnes & Nobel statement on Google+ today. A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman confirmed and separately provided the statement to GeekWire.

The release of the statement coincides with Amazon’s earnings release this afternoon. We’ve asked Amazon for comment and will update this post if the company provides one.

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