Another E-Book Publisher Challenges Amazon

Hachette is third major house to push for higher, iPad-style prices
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2010 1:16 PM CST

(Newser) – Hachette has joined Macmillan—and, seemingly, HarperCollins—in demanding control over the pricing of its e-books sold through Amazon, a move apparently sparked by Apple’s more flexible model for titles that will appear on its iPad. Hachette sent a letter to agents yesterday announcing it would seek an Apple-style agreement with all retailers. The company’s iBooks store will price titles at $12.99 to $14.99; Amazon offers all bestsellers for $9.99.

“This new model helps protect the long-term viability of the book marketplace,” Hachette CEO David Young tells the Wall Street Journal. Though Apple would prefer bestsellers and new releases sell for $13 to $15, it allows publishers to set their own prices. Amazon appears to be acquiescing to the pressure, having struck a deal with Macmillan to let the house set its own prices, but its books are still unavailable on the site. Either way, Gizmodo notes, it appears “Amazon's dream of a flat $9.99 for e-books has flatlined.” (Read more Hachette stories.)

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