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Amazon Signs New Contracts With Bonnier, Simon & Schuster

4130309782_543dd1643c[1]Reports are coming in today that the crusher of dreams and devourer of small kittens has reportedly signed new contracts with a publishers in Germany and the US.

Boersenblatt and the WSJ are reporting that Amazon has come to terms with Bonnier in Germany and S&S in the US, respectively. The specifics of the new contracts have not been disclosed, but the CEO of Bonnier’s German subsidiary is quoted as saying:

This agreement is a fair way all three parties meet – the demands and expectations of Amazon and the publishers as well as the interests of authors.

Amazon had been in a protracted contract dispute in Germany with Bonnier since May 2014, and had been using the same tactics, and facing the same criticism there as in the US, including a letter signed by authors, an antitrust complaint filed by a book industry trade group, and a possible investigation from EU authorities.

The Simon & Schuster negotiation, on the other hand, was much less bitter all around. The first that anyone knew that there was a deal in the works was when CBS head Les Moonves happened to mention the detail in an interview in July.

The WSJ reports today that: and CBS Corp. ’s Simon & Schuster publishing arm have reached a new multi-year print and digital contract, according to people familiar with the situation.

Details of the new contract couldn’t be immediately learned, including how e-book revenue will be split. However, one person familiar with the negotiations said that the new agreement replaces an existing contract that doesn’t expire for two months.

Update: Publishers Lunch reports that the deal "preserves the basic construct and terms of agency, our source indicates, with S&S authors retaining the same share of income — 25% of receipts that are 70% of the consumer selling price — that they have had since the publisher first moved to agency in 2010". It’s not clear what Amazon got out of it, aside from limited discounting, but clearly they must have gotten something.

Update: Amazon commented on the deal on Tuesday. They don’t have much in the way of  details but they do say that " Importantly, the agreement specifically creates a financial incentive for Simon & Schuster to deliver lower prices for readers. " I think that is what Amazon wanted all along.

In related news, Amazon also signed a deal with Perseus Book Group about a month ago; the terms of that contract were not disclosed, and the deal was done before anyone knew that it was in the works.


In the past 6 months Amazon has signed deals with 3 publishers, including two majors and a medium-sized publisher. There is still no deal with Hachette, and looking at the viciousness with which Hachette has been conducting their media campaign I don’t get the impression that Hachette expects to have a deal any time soon.

Hmm. At this point, folks, I have to wonder just who is the real problem in the Amazon-Hachette negotiations.

image  by formatc1


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AvidReader October 20, 2014 um 5:06 pm

Not only three publishers but they settled things quickly with Warner and Disney.

fjtorres October 20, 2014 um 5:47 pm

Publishers weekly is reporting that the S&S deal is "agency" in that S&S sets their price… but Amazon gets to discount the retsil price.

Timothy Wilhoit October 20, 2014 um 5:50 pm

Agency lite? S&S just gave Hachette a swift kick in the jewels.

Nate Hoffelder October 20, 2014 um 5:50 pm

That’s basically the same as what PL reported.

fjtorres October 20, 2014 um 5:53 pm

The discounting matters, though.
That is what Amazon gets out of the deal.
Remember, Apple can discount for several years so no-discount agency is a non-starter.

fjtorres October 20, 2014 um 5:51 pm

The issue with the Amazon Hachette negotiations is pretty obviously… hachette.

They said they want no-discount agency and Amazon wants the ability to discount to $9.99 when they think it appropriate.
It’s going to get pretty lonely for Hachette.

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