Amazon and Hachette give up their pricing war - just in time for Christmas

Emma Haslett
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The deal has come just in time for Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping day of Amazon's year (Source: Getty)

It's a brave brand that takes on the might of Amazon - but US publisher Hachette gave it a good go, arguing that it should have control over the price of its ebooks.

The battle was keenly observed by fellow publishers, not least because underneath, they were grumbling about the same thing.

But it looks like the pair have buried the Hachette (sorry), ammouncing a "multi-year agreement" for Hachette's ebook and print sales.

Amazon had wanted all ebooks to be priced below $9.99 because, according to its research, that price point drove sales up by 74 per cent. Hachette, on the other hand, had argued that it was up to it how much ebooks sold for.

It looks like both sides got their way: while Hachette will set prices, the new agreement includes "financial incentives for [the publisher] to deliver lower prices", said David Naggar, Amazon's Kindle vice president.

Michael Pietsch, Hachette's chief executive, was also happy: "The new agreement will benefit Hachette authors for years to come".

Conveniently, this outpouring of adoration has come just in time for the festive season - in particular, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the two biggest shopping days of the year. Last year, the online retailer's UK division reported 4.1m sales during Cyber Monday, which usually falls around the first week of November or the first week of December.

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