Amazon drops Macmillan titles over e-book pricing disagreement

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Amazon has removed books from publisher Macmillan following a disagreement over the pricing of e-books.

A meeting between the two companies last Thursday failed to resolve the problem. Amazon removed Macmillan books from its US website over the weekend.

Amazon posted on its site that negotiations failed regarding Macmillan’s move to a pricing model where $12.99 (£8.16) to $14.99 (£9.42) is charged for e-book versions of bestsellers and the majority of hardcover releases. Amazon has been criticised by the publishing community for retailing bestselling e-books at $9.99 (£6.28).

It added, “Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it’s reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book. We don’t believe that all of the major publishers will take the same route as Macmillan. And we know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity to provide attractively priced e-books as an alternative.”

Macmillan CEO John Sargent said the dispute with Amazon was about the “long-term viability and stability of the digital book market”.

“Amazon and Macmillan both want a healthy and vibrant future for books. We clearly don’t agree how to get there,” he said in a statement to authors, illustrators and literary agents, posted online.

Customers searching for Macmillan titles on Amazon’s US site this morning saw a list titled ‘Available from these bestsellers’ but no Amazon price or order button.


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