Amazon chickens out of publishing war

Online shop Amazon backed down from taking on Macmillan over pricing of its e-books.

Macmillan had issued a statement saying Amazon had removed its e-books from its virtual shelves after a spat over their pricing.

Macmillan wanted to charge between $12.99 and $14.99 for its e-book versions of its bestsellers.

A lass using a Kindle, from Kindle web siteBut yesterday Amazon totally capitulated to Macmillan and said as much. In a statement on its web site it said: “We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books.”

Amazon said it believed that not all of the major publishers would follow Macmillan’s lead.

“We know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity to provide atttractively priced e-books as an alternative.”

Amazon, it continued, believed in Kindle and saw it as a mission as well as a business. “We never expected it to be easy!”