Amazon gives in: Retailer resolves big publishing dispute with Hachette

The publisher is hailing the agreement as "great news"

Published November 13, 2014 5:06PM (EST)

                  (AP/Ben Margot)
(AP/Ben Margot)

The war between online retail giant Amazon and the publishing house Hachette is over.

The two parties announced Thursday that they have resolved their acrimonious publishing dispute and signed a multi-year contract. The contract will allow Hachette to set its own prices for its e-books; Amazon had sought to force Hachette to lower e-book prices to $9.99.

Both sides seem pleased with the outcome.

“This is great news for writers,” said Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch said Thursday, per the New York Times. “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.” An Amazon executive told the Times that the contract features "specific financial incentives for Hachette to deliver lower prices."

The agreement brings an end to a battle that's raged on since early this year. After Amazon discouraged consumers from buying Hachette products and delayed shipping for many Hachette books, literary luminaries including Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie and Milan Kundera denounced Amazon and urged a Justice Department anti-trust investigation into the company's practices. Last month, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman weighed in on the dispute, writing that the retailer had acquired "undue influence" and that its heavy-handed tactics "hurt America."

By Luke Brinker

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