Ebook retailers have begun discounting Macmillan ebook titles following the publisher’s settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve a lawsuit centered on claims of ebook price fixing and collusion.
The discounting began today, reports Publishers Lunch, with discounts on titles such as Silver Linings Playbook, Killing Kennedy and others. The infamous price was “set by the publisher” disclaimer is gone. It had been used by Amazon to indicate to buyers that publishers — and not the retailer — were responsible for relatively high ebook prices.
Now that Macmillan titles will be discounted, expect the average price readers pay for a best-seller to resume its decline after two straight weeks of gains. For instance, as Pub Lunch pointed out, Silver Linings Playbook is now being sold for $7.99 instead of $9.99. The title hit the DBW Ebook Best-Seller list at No. 18 this week at a price of $9.99. The average price of a best-selling ebook this week was $8.27. Had Silver Linings Playbook it been priced at $7.99, the best-selling ebook average price would have gone down to $8.19.
This development leaves Penguin as the only publisher to have settled with the DOJ but not seen its ebooks discounted yet. A quick survey of Penguin titles on Amazon, for instance, reveals that the “This price was set by the publisher” disclaimer is still appearing near Penguin titles.
For much more, including analysis of the current discounting situation across retailers and in the UK, go to Publishers Lunch.