Macmillan, too, returns to agency pricing with Amazon


Book publisher Macmillan, like Simon & Schuster and Hachette before it, has signed a new contract with Amazon and will return to agency pricing on its ebooks starting in 2015. In a public letter to authors and agents, Macmillan CEO John Sargent also said Amazon’s dominance in the ebook marketplace is a problem and that the publisher will experiment with ebook subscription models as a way to diversify its revenue streams.

Macmillan’s settlement with the Department of Justice in the [company]Apple[/company] ebook pricing case required it (and the four other settling publishers) to allow retailers to offer unlimited discounts on its ebooks for two years. Now the two years are up and publishers are returning to agency pricing agreements with Amazon. Under agency pricing, the publisher sets an ebook’s price and the retailer takes a commission. The negotiations between Amazon and publisher Hachette were highly fraught and public, but Macmillan’s…

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Apple’s $450M plan to settle ebook price-fixing gets green light


Apple could begin paying out $400 million worth of cash and ebook credits to consumers by the end of the year, after a federal judge approved an unusual deal related to an Apple-led conspiracy to fix the price of ebooks.

On Friday, Reuters reported that U.S. Distrct Judge Denise Cote approved a settlement reached this summer under which Apple agreed to pay $400 million to consumers and $50 million to lawyers.

Those numbers are conditional, however, on an appeals court upholding a 2013 verdict in the price-fixing case, in which Apple was found to have colluded with five big publishers to fix the price of ebooks. The appeals court will hear Apple’s challenge on December 15, but few expect that the court will disturb the verdict.

In the event the appeals court does send back the verdict to be reconsidered, Apple will instead pay only $50 million to consumers plus $20 million to the lawyers instead.

The unusual…

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In Amazon/Hachette deal, ebook agency pricing is a winner


In the deal that Amazon and Hachette Book Group finally reached Thursday after months of bitter negotiations, we don’t really know which side “won,” if one side did. But one survivor — perhaps surprisingly — was agency pricing for ebooks, the practice through which the publisher sets an ebook’s price and the retailer takes a commission.

Hachette said in a letter to authors and agents Thursday:

The new agreement delivers considerable benefits. It gives us full responsibility for the consumer prices of our ebooks. This approach, known as the Agency model, protects the value of our authors’ content, while allowing the publisher to change ebook prices dynamically to maximize sales.

That wasn’t a foregone conclusion. In 2010, [company]Amazon[/company] was vehemently opposed to agency pricing, though it ultimately capitulated. Agency pricing was at the heart of the of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Apple and book publishers in 2012, in which…

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Updated: Amazon and Hachette finally reach deal; Hachette will set its ebook prices


Amazon and book publisher Hachette Book Group have finally reached a deal in the negotiations that have been going on since May. For months, Amazon removed pre-orders on Hachette titles, shipped them with delays and would not discount them.

The new agreement, announced in a joint press release Thursday, covers both print and ebooks.

“This is great news for writers,” Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch said in a statement. “The new agreement will benefit Hachette authors for years to come. It gives Hachette enormous marketing capability with one of our most important bookselling partners.”

“We are pleased with this new agreement as it includes specific financial incentives for Hachette to deliver lower prices, which we believe will be a great win for readers and authors alike,” David Naggar, VP of Kindle, said in a statement.

When the new ebook terms take place in early 2015, “Hachette will have responsibility for setting consumer prices of its…

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Apple to Settle in Ebook Lawsuit

The link below is to an article that reports on the news that Apple will settle in the ebook pricing lawsuit.

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Ebook Pricing Court Battles

The link below is to an article reporting on the latest legal battles concerning ebook pricing.

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