Amazon Negotiating with Publishers Ahead of iPad, Says Report
Amazon.com has struck deals with Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins to potentially raise the price of ebooks, reports The Wall Street Journal, and could be in negotiations with other publishers over a similar deal. The imminent release of the Apple iPad on April 3, with an iBookstore that could challenge Amazon's Kindle e-reader, is roiling the e-reader market with regard to average pricing and title availability; booksellers have reportedly been using the iPad and other upcoming devices in an attempt to gain leverage on Amazon in negotiations. Early previews of the iBookstore indicate ebook prices floating in the $9.99 to $12.99 range.Amazon.com has struck deals with book publishers Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins that could potentially raise the price of ebooks, according to online reports, days before Apple releases its iPad tablet PC. Amazon's Kindle e-reader faces a potentially substantial competitor in iPad's e-text feature. According to an April 1 article in The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is also in discussions with Hachette Book Group and Penguin Group over letting publishers choose the price points for ebooks. Under the terms of the reported agreement, digital offerings from Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins will likely drift from Amazon's previous $9.99 ceiling into a range between $12.99 and $14.99.
The news comes on the eve of the iPad's April 3 release. Although unconfirmed by Apple, rumors have circulated for weeks that the company is in intensive discussions with a variety of content producers, ranging from television studios to book publishers, to port specially modified content onto the tablet. Unlike the Kindle and other e-readers, which use grayscale e-ink screens to display text, the iPad's 9.7-inch screen will be capable of displaying full color and more complex layouts.