Amazon Caves on eBook Prices

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It seems that the running spat between Amazon and publisher Macmillan has come to something of a close, with Amazon announcing that it will allow the books to be sold for the price Macmillan had requested.

When I was your age, Pluto was a planet and we used to argue about the prices of REAL books...

The issue arose when Macmillan attempted to price digital versions of its books at $15, which is fully 150% of the usual amount for ebooks available through Amazon’s Kindle Store. Macmillan weighed in with the fairly heavy threat that, unless Amazon allowed the heftier pricing, it would not be distributing new books to Amazon on release.

Amazon’s response was fairly extreme, effectively halting its sale of both physical and digital versions of any books published by Macmillan. Still, word comes from Amazon today that it is to offer titles from Macmillan at the price the publisher had wished to set, but hat it will be down to its customers to determine whether or not people are willing to pay that kind of money for an ebook…

The official word from Amazon today is that,

“We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. 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 want to offer them to you even at prives 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 an ebook.”

Naturally, it’s brought all kinds of conspiracy theories out of the woodwork, with many saying that this had been the plan all along… Still, as someone using a Sony Reader, this has been an interesting one to watch unfold from the outside.

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One Response to “Amazon Caves on eBook Prices”

  1. nutterguy Says:

    You don’t seem to mention that this is all apples fault. (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/amazon-pulls-macmillan-books-over-e-book-price-disagreement/) (whats not clear here is Amazon only take ~20%, Apple take 40% so publishers have to raise their prices)
    Everyone who uses ebooks is going to be paying for that mistake called the iPad…
    Thanks Apple, raising the price of yet another digital medium, thanks!

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