Amazon caves in to publisher in e-book price row

Darren Allan

February 1, 2010

Amazon stood its ground when publisher Macmillan announced it wanted to charge its own price for its electronic format best-sellers on the Kindle store.

For a couple of days, anyway. Now the company has done a u-turn, and bowed to Macmillan’s desire to set their own prices between $12.99 and $14.99 (rather than Amazon’s $9.99 standard).

In a statement, Amazon said: “We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books.”

“Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it’s reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book.”

Whether or not the other big publishers will follow Macmillan’s lead isn’t yet clear.

Amazon says that it doesn’t expect they will, but we’re not so sure.

Many of those who frequent the Kindle store – and can pick up many e-books for free – probably won’t be impressed with these price hiking antics.


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