Hachette Has Dropped Agency Pricing on eBooks

Remember 3 months back when HarperCollins and S&S abruptly renegotiated their ebook contracts to allow ebookstores to set their own prices?It looks like Hachette has followed suit. I've just noticed that a number of Hachette titles in the Kindle no longer say that the prices were set by the publisher. Instead they say that the ebooks are sold by Hachette Book Group (example, example).

What's more, Amazon is discounting the ebooks by $1 to $4 from the list price, and both Barnes & Noble and Apple are making similar discounts. Kobo does not seem to have joined the party just yet.

It's taken quite a bit longer than I anticipated, but it seems Hachette has finally complied with the settlement agreement. Wow. It only took them 3 months. Judge Cote approved the anti-trust settlement in early September, and the other 2 US publishers who agreed to the settlement HarperCollins negotiated new contracts in under a week.

Hachette took quite a bit longer to adjust to the inevitable, but they are still moving faster than Simon and Schuster,  the third publisher to agree to the settlement. eBooks published by S&S still show that they are covered under the agency contract, even though that contract was supposed to have been canceled in 7 days.

And Hachette is also moving faster than the other 2 publishers and Apple which are still planning to fight the antitrust prosecution filed against them in federal court earlier this year. That case won't go to trial until June 2013, and that means we're going to be looking at a bifurcated ebook market for at least the next 12 to 18 months, and that could even stretch out for several years before all the appeals are filed and resolved.

What fun times we live in, no?

About Nate Hoffelder (10605 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

4 Comments on Hachette Has Dropped Agency Pricing on eBooks

  1. While Hachette were indeed slower coming to the party, at least they were prepared to come to the party.

  2. S&S still has Agency pricing.

  3. That’s great for those of you south of the border, but those of us in Canada, are still suffering from the Agency pricing. Both examples linked in the story still show ‘This price was set by the publisher’

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Hachette Complies with Anti-Trust Settlement Agreement, Drops Prices – Erika Q. Stokes

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