Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), in the midst of its battle with Lagardere‘s (LGDDF.PK) Hachette, has decided that it doesn’t want to stock titles from the publisher. Meanwhile, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes is promoting a sale on the e-book versions of popular Hachette books, including pre-orders that Amazon decided not to accept.
Re/code reports that the titles appear in a featured section called “Popular Pre-Orders: $9.99 or Less.” Clicking the “see all” button reveals that all twenty-six titles featured in the section are published by Hachette. Apple is capitalizing not only on the opportunity to sell more books, but is also likely looking to make the best of a situation that sees public attention focused on its settlement of an e-book price-fixing lawsuit. Ironically, Apple’s current offer on the Hachette pre-orders matches Amazon’s $9.99 price tag that Apple and five publishers colluded to get raised, as Wall St. Cheat Sheet reported earlier today.
Amazon is accused of delaying shipments of Hachette titles over a contract dispute as to how much the publisher will discount the books that Amazon purchases. The dispute is also tied to Amazon’s pricing of e-books, a model that publishers have made clear they do not favor. Hachette and other publishers want to keep prices higher, while Amazon would prefer to offer discounts. Amazon isn’t accepting pre-orders of Hachette titles, and is keeping less stock of Hachette books on hand, making the timeline for customer orders more dependent on how quickly Hachette ships the inventory to Amazon. Of its disagreement with Hachette, Amazon notes that it is “not optimistic that this will be resolved soon.”