Cthulhu's Librarian said:
Just an FYI, Ingram also distributes to small, independant bookstores as well, not just the massive chains & discounters. Most independant bookstores (I'm not talking about comic & game shops) order from Ingram in some capacity, either using them for special orders or as their main source of books. Some indy booksellers have the books as well, and they were never informed of any street or on sale dates. Ingram just shipped the books to them with their regular book orders.
And that apparently is where the problem sits. WotC let it happen and is insisting distributors and retailers maintain a street date where as Ingram didn't have to.
If the Ingram issue isn't fixed, distributors are basically going to give WotC the finger and open accounts with Ingram instead. This isn't a rumor... This is what will happen.
Should it happen? No, I don't think it should but this is going to be a nasty can of worms if it isn't resolved very soon.