Amazon and Hachette settle bitter e-book dispute
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The debate became so heated, and publishers became so desperate to retain control over pricing, that several of them were willing to violate antitrust laws in dealings with Apple's iBooks store starting in 2010. Amazon's victory in the antitrust case sparked a turning point for e-book pricing that end up solidifying its business model.
The resolution marks a rare victory for the publishing industry, which has struggled as more people buy relatively inexpensive e-books distributed over the Internet. Amazon controls, by some estimates, a third of the entire book market and more than half of the e-book market, thanks to its Kindle electronic reader platform. That share has given Amazon enormous clout in negotiations with publishers.
"I'm relieved that Amazon and Hachette reached an agreement," Preston told The New York Times today. But "if anyone thinks this is over, they are deluding themselves. Amazon covets market share the way Napoleon coveted territory."
The back and forth with Hachette may have damaged Amazon's public image, said BCG analyst Colin Gillis. "People associate with authors," he said. "It's good that it was resolved, but we'll see if hardcore readers see Amazon in a different light."