In the past few weeks, we have gone from discussing how Nook is better than Kindle (or the other way around) to what Amazon is going to do to keep its e-book prices low. A few publishers did manage to force Amazon to allow them to set their own prices for their e-books. It certainly doesn’t seem as ifÂ Amazon could control those large publishers, considering that they can go to competing platforms such as the iPad and Sony Reader. But according to Times, Amazon has been working hard to make publishers offer their lowest prices to Kindle owners:
Amazon has been pushing publishers to sign a new round of legal agreements that would guarantee that the Kindle price for their content is always the same or lower than the price on other electronic reading devices, such as the iPad or the Sony Reader.
So if all publishers decide to set their minimum e-book price to $14.99, Amazon wants to make sure Kindle owners won’t find lower prices for those e-books. It’s not known whether big players will play ball with Amazon in this regard. For starters, Amazon has been getting a big cut of their revenue. Even though the company is looking to reduce its cut to keep Kindle an attractive platform for publishers, publishers have more bargaining power these days.
While I am a big supporter of lower e-book prices for my Kindle, I am not sure how publishers will deal with Amazon’s latest push to keep the prices the lowest on its platform. What happens if a publisher refuses to accept that agreement? The ramifications are not clear at this point. I sure do hope that e-book makers realize that while prices are important, they should do their best to provide access to as much content as possible on their platforms. So let’s hope small publishers don’t get blacklisted for playing hardball with Amazon and other e-book retailers.