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Amazon And Hachette Reach A Deal On E-Book Pricing

Mark Lennihan AP
Visitors walk through the Hachette Book Group's exhibition in May at BookExpo America, the annual industry convention in New York.

In a deal that ends a months-long — and much-publicized — stalemate, Amazon and Hachette Book Group have reached what the companies say is a multiyear agreement on the pricing of e-books and print books. Under the new terms, which will take effect early next year, Hachette will set the consumer prices of its e-books — a key sticking point in the often-heated negotiations.

Further details of the agreement weren't immediately available.

"This is great news for writers," Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch said in a statement. "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."

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Both companies had been seeking a deal since Hachette's contract with Amazon expired in March, only to be briefly extended by the online retailer into April. The stymied negotiations drew protests from authors on both sides of the dispute, including some who called for Justice Department scrutiny of Amazon's business practices.

For Amazon, though, it marks the second pricing deal with a "Big Five" publisher in less than a month. It also inked an agreement with Simon & Schuster in October. In the coming months, Amazon is expected to negotiate new deals with HarperCollins, Penguin Random House and Macmillan.

The two companies will now resume trading as usual, and Amazon promises that "Hachette books will be prominently featured in promotions."

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