Hachette joins Macmillan in demanding that Amazon sell its e-books for more than $9.99.
As the launch of the Apple iPad grows nearer, the spat between book publishers and Amazon is getting louder. First, let's get you up to date: Macmillan, one of the biggest publishers in the US, doesn't like Amazon's policy of charging $9.99 for every e-book. Amazon, on the other hand, doesn't want to listen to anymore complaints from the suits over at Macmillan, and last weekend, the online bookseller temporarily barred sales of thousands of Macmillan titles.
On Monday, Amazon issued a terse press release, capitulating to Macmillan's request that publishers be able to set their own e-book prices. "We accept Macmillan's terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles," an Amazon rep wrote, "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."
It's not yet clear what Amazon customers believe about the whole kerfuffle. What is clear is that Macmillan has succeeded to rousing the ire of its fellow publishers. Simon and Schuster are reportedly considering joining Macmillan in making a stand against Amazon, and on Friday, David Young, the chairman and CEO of Hachette Book Group, said his company would demand higher rates for its titles.