The Digital Reader is reporting based on lowered prices and a different sell page that Hachette has a new deal with Amazon and Barnes & Noble per an agreement that the book publisher signed with the Department of Justice to settle on the issue of ebook price-fixing.
According to The Digital Reader, prices on Hachette books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble have been lowered by $1 to $4. Further, the ubiquitous “this price was set by the publisher” disclaimer that Amazon displays near the price for books published by agency publishers like Random House and Penguin is now gone for Hachette books.
“Per our settlement with the DOJ, we are not preventing discounting of our ebooks by our eBook agents. What you’re seeing on retail sites could be our ebook agents adopting these new terms,” Hachette spokesperson Sophie Cottrell told Digital Book World, adding that the terms of the company’s deals with ebook retailers are confidential.
Hachette joins HarperCollins in complying with the terms of a settlement signed by the two publishers, Simon & Schuster and the Justice Department over the matter of ebook price-fixing. The settlement ended a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department alleging that the publishers and Apple colluded to fix the prices of ebooks when they established an agency pricing model when the iPad and iBooks was launched.
In the case of HarperCollins, ebook prices did not always go down once Amazon and Barnes & Noble gained control to set them. And, sales rank data suggest that price decreases didn’t result in more revenue for the bookseller.