Quietly, the Amazon and Macmillan Standoff Ends

By Jason Boog Comment

a.com_logo_RGB1.jpgAfter a week of speculation, the Macmillan and Amazon (AMZN) standoff has ended the way it began–with a New York Times article on a Friday evening after this GalleyCat editor had went home for the night. It appears that the online bookseller has restored the direct purchase buttons to books by the publisher.

Over the weekend, a number of commentators weighed in on the decision. Author Paul Carr wrote: “Macmillan’s attempt to bring back the NBA though, while it might result in a few more hardback sales in the short term, can only end in disaster for everyone concerned.”

On the other hand, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes speculated that the new price model for eBooks could cripple Amazon: “The Kindle is a single-purpose device in a convergent world. Late last year I gave the Kindle three years. Now, that could be as little as 18 months.”

Here’s an excerpt: “Details of the resolution have not been made public, but the restoration of Macmillan books to Amazon’s site indicates a peaceful settlement was reached. ‘I am delighted to be back in business with Amazon,’ John Sargent, chief executive of Macmillan, said in an e-mail message.”

Last week Amazon removed the direct sale buttons for the publisher’s books, writing: “We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books.” More than 2,000 comments have been posted alongside that controversial letter.

Finally, the Authors Guild has created a site to continuously monitor the status of buy buttons for many different Amazon books–Who Moved My Buy Button?