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Are Bigger Discounts for E-Books on Horizon? If Then, What?

By Alex Mutter

nook colorAccording to Jeffrey Trachtenberg of the Wall Street Journal, a pending legal decision could shortly clear the way for vastly discounted e-books, well below even the $9.99 mark.

The ruling, to be handed down by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote sometime this fall, possibly even this month, is expected to approve the settlement of a civil antitrust lawsuit between Hachette (who agreed to pay $31,711,425 in fees back to consumers) HarperCollins ($19,575,246) and Simon & Schuster ($17,752,480) and the Justice Department that was worked out last spring.

E-book users could see slashed prices just a few weeks after the approval, reports Trachtenberg, although opponents of the decision, who are many, are likely to appeal. This could delay the roll out of discounts for a number of months.

Although the discounts would constitute a problem for Apple, the “most immediate impact would be felt by Barnes & Noble, which has invested heavily in building its Nook e-book and e-reader business.” Depending on how far e-book prices drop, Trachtenberg explains, B&N may have to sell major releases at a loss, and cheap e-book prices across the board would most likely hurt sales of conventional books, and by extension B&N’s retail chain.

The decision is good news for Amazon, as its cheaper-than-average e-books were a significant draw for the Kindle when it was first released.

Source: Publishing: Cheaper E-Books Ahead, Wall Street Journal

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One Comment

  1. Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Oh, really? I’m planning on raising my ebook prices across the board another dollar if Amazon keeps discounting my existing prices anymore. I’m selling them for $3.99 to $9.99, and Amazon thinks it’s too much? Maybe that’s why people are not publishing for Kindle anymore. I’ll bring them up to parity with the top level and see if that makes a difference, because if the biggies are balking at $9.99 they don’t understand how the ebook world works. That’s not my affair. I’m in this business to sell what I write so I will charge as much as I can get. Let the biggies stop complaining.

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