Random House Balks at iBooks

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There’s lots of buzz on the Web today about an Financial Times article [accessible by subscribers to FT only] about Random House and Apple’s iBooks. According to various reports on the article, Random House has not struck a deal with Apple because the company is uncomfortable with Apple’s agency model and fears iPad will spur a price-war over eBooks.

Here’s more from The Bookseller: “The FT reports that Markus Dohle, Random House chief executive, did not exclude the possibility of reaching a deal before the iPad goes on sale on 3rd April, but said he was treading carefully, as Apple’s pricing regime could erode established publishing practices. Instead, he said the publisher would consult further with its authors and their agents.”

Presumably iPad users will still have access to Random House books through other eBook retailers whose apps will be available for the iPad, like Kindle.

It would seem the iPad-inspired pricing war is already well underway, since the standoff between Amazon and Macmillan. We’ll see whether Random House inspires can stay out of the fray.