Amazon has reached a deal with Simon & Schuster, one of the five major publishers it has been negotiating with, according to a source familiar with the deal.
The Wall Street Journal also reports that Simon & Schuster, the publishing arm of CBS, and Amazon signed a new multi-year print and digital contract covering both the sale of physical and e-books. A similar report by Business Insider says the negotiations between the two companies only took three weeks and closed two months before its contract expired.
Update: In a statement, Amazon confirmed following the initial reports that it has indeed reached a multi-year agreement for the sale in the US of both print and digital books. “We are very happy with this agreement, as it allows us to grow our business with Simon & Schuster and help their authors reach an ever-wider audience. Importantly, the agreement specifically creates a financial incentive for Simon & Schuster to deliver lower prices for readers.”
The speedy resolution may encourage Hachette and Amazon to come to the table again to settle their disputes.
The intense conflict between Amazon and Hachette have only escalated since the expiration of their contract in March. The very public battle has enraged authors, and has also encouraged Amazon to go public with an explanation as to why its better for everyone involved to lock in a standard price of $9.99 for e-books. (Because e-books are often priced at $14.99 or $19.99, and “that is unjustifiably high for an e-book,” Amazon says).
Details about Amazon’s contract with Simon & Schuster are unknown, but Business Insider says that Amazon agreed to the company’s original offer with very minor tweaks. Amazon’s statement also hints that there will be some variability in price.
Simon & Schuster’s current bestsellers list includes Anthony Doerr’s “All of the light we cannot see,” which costs $4.99 on the Kindle, and Walter Isaacson’s “The Innovators,” which costs $8.99 on the Kindle.
Coincidentally, Amazon’s heavy-handed practices in the book business was the subject of Paul Krugman controversial column today in The New York Times, which said the company is hurting America and can’t be trusted.