Amazon-Hachette Dispute Over as Companies Announce New Deal

Comedy Central
Stephen Colbert

Won't Stephen Colbert be pleased?

Amazon and Hachette's monthslong dispute is over. The companies have reached a new multiyear agreement covering e-book and print sales in the U.S.

The two companies were reportedly in a standoff over e-book revenues, with the online retailer reportedly delaying shipments, reducing discounts and preventing people from preordering Hachette titles.

Several Hachette authors, including Stephen Colbert, Stephen King and John Green, condemned Amazon's actions. Colbert even devoted a segment on his show in June to bashing the online retailer. The ice seemed to have thawed for Colbert, though, as he recently, reluctantly, told viewers they could buy his book on Amazon.

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The deal's new terms will take place in 2015. Hachette will be able to set the consumer prices of its e-books and benefit from better terms when it delivers lower prices for readers. The two companies "will immediately resume normal trading and Hachette books will be prominently featured in promotions," according to a joint press release sent out Thursday.

"We are pleased with this new agreement as it includes specific financial incentives for Hachette to deliver lower prices, which we believe will be a great win for readers and authors alike," Kindle vp David Naggar said in a statement.

Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch added, "This is great news for writers. The new agreement will benefit Hachette authors for years to come. It gives Hachette enormous marketing capability with one of our most important bookselling partners.”

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Hachette was among five publishers sued in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly fixing e-book prices. The publishers, which claimed Amazon was charging too little for e-books, settled and were required to negotiate new deals with Amazon and other retailers.

Amazon also recently reached a multiyear deal with Simon & Schuster, another publisher that was sued in 2012 and eventually settled.