From the amazon web site:
….ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books. Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it’s reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book…..
For some back ground and discussion, see this earlier post and links among the comments that describe the situation.
I gave the specific quote because I love how Amazon notes that Macmillan has “a monopoly” over their own titles. This absurd statement and the overall situation tells me something: The decisions being made … first to cut out Macmillan titles then to end the standoff with this particular announcement … are coming some guy who seems to act like a teenager who got mad at his teacher or something. Not a major corporation with lawyers and a marketing department and brand management and stuff.
I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I’m just sayin’
So, Amazon tried to control pricing on a major product in two ways: 1) Keep it low to be nice to the user (I assume) and 2) keep a higher percentage of the proffit. Now, they have benen forced to let publishers, who are providing the product, set the wholesale price. So Amazon is screaming “They are forcing us to have a free market! They are forcing us to have a free market!”
I for one will pick a non Macmillan title over a Macmillan title next time I decide to buy a new best seller novel or something, just to show solidarity with lower priced books. But this whole event has reified, in my mind, the original proposition (see link above) that Amazon is indeed something different, even when it comes to just selling books.