Amazon and Hachette Resolve Dispute
By DAVID STREITFELDNOV. 13, 2014
New York Times
Amazon and Hachette announced Thursday morning that they have resolved their differences and signed a new multiyear contract, bringing to an official end one of the most bitter publishing conflicts in recent years.
Neither side gave details of the deal, but both pronounced themselves happy with the terms. Hachette gets the ability to set the prices on its e-books, which was a major battleground in the dispute.
“This is great news for writers,” said Michael Pietsch, Hachette’s chief executive. “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.”
An Amazon executive, David Naggar, said Amazon was “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.”
The agreement broadly follows a deal Amazon recently worked out with Simon & Schuster.
While Amazon and Hachette successfully kept the exact terms of the dispute to themselves, Amazon was widely seen as wanting a bigger share of e-book revenue. Since Amazon also wanted lower e-book prices, that was seen by Hachette supporters as a move that threatened to undermine the publisher’s existence.
The retailer and Hachette, the fourth largest publisher, have been battling it out since the beginning of the year, at first quietly and then very publicly. Amazon raised the stakes by discouraging sales of Hachette books, which incited of those authors and then other members of the literary community.
At least some Hachette books still showed shipping delays on Thursday. Several popular Malcolm Gladwell titles all showed delays of one to three weeks. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s thriller “The Lost Island” was described as taking as much as four weeks.
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