HarperCollins US e-book prices drop

HarperCollins US e-book prices drop

American e-tailers including Amazon.com have begun selling HarperCollins e-books at discounted prices, after the publisher struck new agreements in the wake of the settlement over price fixing.

HarperCollins US was one of the three publishers, along with Hachette US and Simon & Schuster US, that settled in the case brought by the US Department of Justice, agreeing to stop dictating the prices at which their e-books are sold by retailers.

As part of the settlement, approved last week, the companies were required to renegotiate contracts with sellers including Amazon.

Erin Crum, a spokesperson for HarperCollins, said in a statement that the publisher, “had reached agreements with our e-retailers that are consistent with the final judgement. Dynamic pricing and experimentation will continue to be a priority for us as we move forward.”

An Amazon spokesperson said: “We are happy to again be lowering prices on a broad assortment of HarperCollins titles”. However, Amazon declined to comment on any other publisher negotiations.

The New York Times reported $9.99 prices on Amazon.com for HC US bestsellers including The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva. New e-book pricing for HC titles has also been reported at Barnes & Noble, Google e-books and Kobo.

Some publishers are also reported to have conceded e-book discounting in the EU in a bid to stave off a European Commission investigation into the issue. 

Penguin, Macmillan and Apple did not settle in the US case, and will face trial next year.