Peace pact: Amazon and Hachette end their book battle

In a high-profile battle that saw popular authors taking on the world’s biggest online bookstore, Amazon and Hachette, the fourth largest publisher, announced Thursday that they had struck a multiyear agreement, according to wire reports.

The details of the deal were not disclosed. Both sides declared themselves happy.

As the New York Times reported, the parties kept the exact nature of their dispute to themselves. But the conflict was largely seen by some authors as a direct threat to Hachette.

The general gist appeared to be that Amazon wanted a higher percentage of proceeds from sales of e-books, a move that Hachette resisted. On top of that, Amazon apparently wanted to lower e-book costs for customers.

What is typically a behind-the-scenes contract negotiation went public when Amazon made some Hachette titles harder to get and authors started to complain. Some books, for example, were encumbered with long shipping delays. The conflict created a rift between Amazon and many authors, including some not published by Hachette.

Amazon pushed back on the bully narrative, as I wrote in July, arguing that it had consumers’ interests in mind.

In October, Amazon missed analysts expectations for the third quarter and the stock dropped 13 percent, as CNBC reported.

It’s unlikely that the public nature of the battle was helpful to Amazon’s image, although it is unclear that the fight hurt book sales.

Hachette & Amazon | FindTheBest

Above: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

 

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