Merry pre-Christmas. The war is over. Amazon and the Hachette Book Group have agreed on a new, “multi-year” agreement for ebook and print sales. The agreement allows Hachette to set all pricing for its ebooks and will receive “better terms when it delivers lower prices for readers.” In other words, Hachette can set its own prices but it will be rewarded for not going crazy.
“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,” said David Naggar, Vice President, Kindle said in a release.
The new prices will take effect in 2015 but Amazon will no longer hold back Hachette titles and Hachette books will be “prominently featured in promotions.”
In short, Amazon threw Hachette a bone. The suggestion that the company will receive special consideration for playing by Amazon’s rules is telling, however. In short, while Hachette gets to hang out in Amazon’s store, Amazon will let it take over the front window only if it supplies Amazon with exclusively low prices. The publisher may have made a deal, but I suspect it will turn out to be a deal with the devil once the dust clears.