There was major drama in the ebook world recently when, over the course of a single weekend, an entire war played out: Amazon didn't want to let publisher Macmillan charge $14.99 for ebook versions of hard copy books but Macmillan said it was non-negotiable, take it or leave it, offer. Amazon eventually relented, conceding that obviously Macmillan had a monopoly when it came to its only titles. The etailer resigned itself to the fact that, if it wanted to sell Macmillan books at all, it would have to be on the publishers terms.
Then, on Tuesday, it emerged that Harper Collins (owned by News Corp.) was discussing new prices with Amazon. MediaMemo cites News Corp. CEO Ruport Murdoch as saying:
Now it looks as though Hatchette has caught on to fact that you don't need to accept Amazon's $9.99 price, no questions asked. MediaBistro reports that the publisher is considering moving to an agency price model for ebooks and sent out a memo agents last night discussing the advantages of having their own price model.
As more and more publishers start thinking they'd rather be choosing their own price for ebooks, speculation is mounting that it has something to do with the pricing these publishing houses will offer for books on Apple's recently launched iPad.