Hachette Book Group and Amazon today announced their multi-year agreement to solidify the terms for print and e-book sales, ending months of public publishing dispute.
Representatives from the book publisher and the online retailer both expressed satisfaction with the deal, which allows Hachette to set prices of its e-books.
Until Thursday morning, Hachette and Amazon were at odds over book pricing. Amazon wanted a bigger share of the profits and to sell Hachette’s e-books at $9.99 and below. Hachette wanted to set prices higher; Michael Piestch, chief executive of Hachelle, told the New York Times that Amazon was just “trying to make more money.”
During the negotiating standoff, which began in the spring after Hachette’s contract expired, Amazon toyed with Hachette books. It increased prices, delayed shipping and removed the pre-order button for many Hachette titles.
The battle pitted the publisher’s authors and hundreds of other writers, including Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, and Ursula Le Guin, against the online retail store. They also demanded the Justice Department to investigate Amazon, accusing it of illegal monopoly practices.
With the agreement on the new deal, Amazon has promised to stop punishing Hachette titles. Authors published by the company include Malcolm Gladwell, James Patterson and J.K. Rowling.
Hachette wasn’t the only big publisher to duke it out with Amazon this year. Simon & Schuster reached a similar deal in October in which Simon & Schuster can generally set the prices of its e-books while still allowing Amazon to discount titles in certain situations.