Saturday, January 30, 2010

Amazon Removes Macmillan Books [News]

According to the New York Times, Amazon and Macmillan have been in a pricing dispute over ebooks for almost a year. Macmillan wants Amazon to raise the prices of their ebooks for Kindle from $9.99 to around $15. "A person in the industry with knowledge of the dispute, which has been brewing for a year, said Amazon was expressing its strong disagreement by temporarily removing Macmillan books," says the article.

It goes on to say that antitrust lawyers say that there may be legal implications because Macmillan has signed on to provide ebooks for Apple's iPad. If they choose to withhold books from Amazon, but not Apple, there may be a lawsuit. It looks like Amazon is the one instigating the removal this time, but who knows what the future holds?

I personally think that pulling a publisher's books from your site is a little extreme, and a little childish. It doesn't seem like a good negotiation tactic to me. What do you think?

UPDATE: Macmillan's CEO has posted a memo about Amazon's actions. Thanks to Lisa Mantchev for posting it on Facebook!


La Coccinelle said...

What do I think? I think raising the prices for e-books is a stupid move. Making an e-book probably costs a fraction of what it costs to manufacture a printed book, so these publishers are just getting greedy (because I bet the authors won't see any of this price increase make its way into their pockets). Plus, if you have to buy an expensive reader and then shell out more money for the e-books, what incentive is there to switch? I can get printed books for less than $15, so why would I spend all that extra money?

Amazon has the right to do business with whomever they like. If one publisher is going to get greedy (and, by extension, make Amazon look like the greedy ones because of the inflated prices on certain e-books), then Amazon should be able to say, "No, we're not going to do business with you." It may be childish, but what else can Amazon do?

Erotic Horizon said...

While I agree with Amazon wanting to keep ebook price comparative lower than the print version( and I never agree with Amazon)

The core issue here is that Amazon is now building a reputation of tossing the dummy out of the pram when they don't get there way...

Is this the way of the future for them and as a reader, from my point of view this only show how much of the market is under Amazon thumb...


Icedream said...

I think both parties are making mistakes but Amazon is making the bigger one in this situation. I feel Macmillan is being very greedy for charging so much for an ebook but Amazon should just offer them at the prices Macmillan wants. It should be up to the consumers to ultimately accept Macmillan's prices or force them to drop them back down by rejecting ebooks at those prices.