Amazon, Penguin Random House Avoid Dispute, Reach Deal For Physical & Online Book Sales

Public feud avoided. Less than a month after reports began swirling that Amazon and the world’s largest book publisher Penguin Random House could potentially come to blows over a new contract for online book sales, the two entities have reached a long-term agreement.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon and Penguin Random House squashed any possibility of another Hachette-like feud by entering into a new contract over both physical and e-books in the U.S. and U.K.

Spokespeople for the companies declined to provide additional information on the contract other than to say it was “long-term.”

“We are still in business with Amazon, and with all our retail partners, and will continue to be,” Penguin Random House said in a statement.

Penguin Random House was the last of the “big five” publishers to renew its contract with Amazon to sell titles online.

Booksellers magazine reported last month that the negotiation dispute between the two companies centers on the pricing model in which publishers get to set the consumer price of e-books, while retailers take a commission.

Industry insiders said at the time that a feud between Amazon, the top seller for books online, and Penguin Random House, which publishes about 15,000 books a year, would be costly for both sides.

Amazon could have possibly frozen pre-orders and slowed delivery of the publisher’s titles, a move that occurred during the months-long battle with Hachette in 2014, and the publisher could have flexed its own muscle by removing its titles from Amazon.

Amazon, Penguin Random House Agree to New Deal on Book Sales [The Wall Street Journal]