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Amazon caves to book publishers

Amazon has submitted to pressure from the major book publishers ahead of the iPad's Saturday launch. HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster will now, like Macmillan, be allowed to use an agency model that gives them control over their book's prices. "Our digital future is more assured today than it was two months ago," HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray told the Wall Street Journal.

Bestsellers will now cost between $13 to $15, up from the standard $9.99. While many other books will remain at the $10 mark, some will even be priced below Amazon's old $9.99 average. Amazon and others have been very concerned over the iPad's iBookstore. Just last week, Sony cut the price of its Reader Pocket Edition while Perseus Books Group, the largest independent book publisher, ignored Amazon's threats and penned a deal to sell their books on the iPad.

At the iPad unveiling, Steve Jobs told Walt Mossberg that "publishers are actually withholding books from Amazon because they're not happy" and that "the prices [on the Kindle and iBookstore] will be the same." What he didn't clarify at the time was whether ebooks on Apple's iBookstore would cost what they do on the Kindle or vice versa. Now we know.

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