Penguin Random House and Amazon Reach New Ebook Deal

Penguin Random House agency ebook pricing AmazonThe world’s largest trade publisher today confirms it’s reached a multi-year agreement for Amazon to distribute its print and digital titles in the US and U.K., becoming the final Big Five publisher to do so.

A spokesperson for Penguin Random House, speaking to Publishers Weekly, declined to give further details about the terms of the contract relating to ebook pricing, saying, “We do not discuss our relationships with our retail partners.”

The other four Big Five publishers have each returned to a version of the agency pricing model for ebooks, in which they maintain the prerogative to set prices for their titles and Amazon incentivizes them to do so competitively.

Reports last month that the UK division of Penguin Random House was at loggerheads with Amazon over new contract terms appear to now to have been a tempest in a teacup, at least from the standpoint of consumers; the publisher’s books were not ultimately removed from Amazon as a result of the supposedly stalling negotiations, as some had hinted might happen.

As of last week, Amazon now faces an antitrust investigation into its ebook business in the European Union, which some speculate could have motivated the e-tailer to come to terms more speedily with Penguin Random House.

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