Amazon and Hachette end dispute, sign multiyear contract

The business brawl between Amazon and Hachette has come to an end. On Thursday they announced that they had resolved their differences and signed a new multiyear contract.

There are currently no details of the deal, however both companies said that they are happy with the terms.

The dispute stems from the fact that Hachette wanted to be able to set its own prices for e-books and Amazon wanted a larger share of e-book revenue and keep prices low. To Hachette this would undermine the publisher’s very own existence.

Amazon then began discouraging sales of Hachette books, which angered authors, including Douglas Preston, a thriller writer published by Hachette.

Preston formed the Authors United, a group of around 1,500 members, with some of the country’s most popular writers. Authors United is planning on sending a letter to the Justice Department urging an investigation of Amazon on antitrust grounds.

Douglas Preston told the New York Times:

“I’m relieved that Amazon and Hachette reached an agreement,” Adding: “If anyone thinks this is over, they are deluding themselves. Amazon covets market share the way Napoleon coveted territory.”

The companies released a joint press release on the matter:

“Hachette Book Group and Amazon (AMZN) today announced that the companies have reached a new, multi-year agreement for ebook and print sales in the US.

Michael Pietsch, Hachette Book Group CEO said, “This is great news for writers. The new agreement will benefit Hachette authors for years to come. It gives Hachette enormous marketing capability with one of our most important bookselling partners.”

“We are pleased with this new agreement as it includes specific financial incentives for Hachette to deliver lower prices, which we believe will be a great win for readers and authors alike,” said David Naggar, Vice President, Kindle.

The new ebook terms will take effect early in 2015. Hachette will have responsibility for setting consumer prices of its ebooks, and will also benefit from better terms when it delivers lower prices for readers. Amazon and Hachette will immediately resume normal trading, and Hachette books will be prominently featured in promotions.”

An Amazon executive, David Naggar, said the the company was “pleased with this new agreement as it includes specific financial incentives for Hachette to deliver lower prices.”

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