updated 02:40 pm EDT, Wed May 26, 2010
New Penguin books come back to Kindle
Amazon and Penguin today put an end to their dispute over pricing for e-books on the Kindle store. Penguin has agreed to resume adding new e-books after it began withholding them on April 1, leaving at least 150 titles without a presence in the online shop. Neither company gave the terms of the deal or said what had triggered the fight.
The argument is likely to have its roots in disputes over Amazon's pricing model. It has tried to push a wholesale model, where it sets the price regardless of the cost of buying the books, but has faced stiff resistance from publishers like Macmillan, many of which have forced Amazon to accept terms more favorable to themselves. Their approach, the agency model, potentially makes less profit but lets publishers have more control over the prices.
Numerous rumors have put the start of the disputes roughly at the moment when it became known Apple was working on an e-book store for the iPad. The electronics veteran allegedly lured publishers away by promising the agency model. The companies have purportedly objected to Amazon's insistence on pricing as many books as possible at $10 or less, even when it has to take a loss, as they believe it sets unrealistic expectations for the actual cost of producing a book.