Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Hachette declined to give many details on the settlement they announced today, but finally one of the worst conflicts in publishing has come to an end. Both sides did say that they are pleased with the deal they worked out, however.
Amazon, Hachette sign multi-year contract
The New York Times reports that under the terms of the settlement, Hachette will be able to set the prices on its own e-books. This has been the key sticking point of the conflict between the two companies since the problems between them arose.
Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch called the deal “great news for writers,” saying that their authors will receive benefits for several years to come. He added that the settlement gives his company “enormous marketing capability” with one of their “most important bookselling partners.”
Amazon executive David Naggar said part of the deal is “specific financial incentives” for Hachette to set its e-book prices lower, which he thinks will be “a great win for readers and authors alike.”
Amazon seeks e-book revenue
It’s believed that Amazon had been trying to get more e-book revenue out of publishers, however, the online retailer also wants prices that beat those of competitors. Publishers, however, saw Amazon’s practice of setting prices extremely low as threatening their very existence.
Amazon and Hachette have been fighting over e-book pricing since the beginning of this year. Although the battle went on behind the scenes for quite some time, it later became public. Amazon bitterly discouraged readers from buying books published by Hachette, which is the fourth largest publisher. Of course that angered the company’s authors and some readers.
According to The New York Times, a number of Hachette books still showed some delays in shipping, with some delays being as long as four weeks.
The deal between Amazon and Hachette appears similar to the settlement Amazon made recently with another major publisher, Simon & Schuster.