Amazon Removes Macmillan Books from Store: eBook Wars Begin

sucker-punchThat didn’t take long.

In the video that Xavier posted yesterday featuring Walt Mossberg talking with Steve Jobs after the iPad announcement, Mossberg asked Jobs about the price of eBooks in the iBook Store. His question focused on the announced $14.99 price vs. Amazon’s $9.99. Jobs answered with a cryptic comment that the prices will be the same that led to speculation that eventually iBook prices would drop, or that Amazon prices would rise.

Now we see the impact of that.

Jobs and the iPad/iBook Store are providing some negotiating leverage for publishers who are already unhappy with Amazon’s pricing. Apple is going to allow publishers to set their own prices. Apparently MacMillan Publishing has been working to get Amazon to raise book prices to $15 and the negotiations aren’t going that well, evidenced by the news that Amazon has pulled all Macmillan books from its store as of yesterday.

Jobs and the iPad have fired a large salvo at Amazon and Amazon has answered back. This is only going to continue. Of course customers are in the middle. Interesting that usually competition works in favor of consumers regarding prices, but it looks like the eBook competition spurred by the iPad and iBooks might have a different outcome.

Via The New York Times