In a move expected by anyone who has some knowledge about the e-book industry, Amazon has signed a deal with Simon & Schuster. Thus, they are forcing the hand of Hachette in the pricing war on digital books.
Simon & Schuster is a very respected publisher, that will get to keep its digital and physical titles on Amazon for a number of years. The full terms of the deal are unknown, but the Wall Street Journal claims that Simon & Schuster will normally set prices, while Amazon will provide the discounts in some situations. Of course, Amazon must have given the publisher an incentive, a financial one to drop the prices.
Meanwhile, other publishers are forced to accept the situation and comply, so Hachette may cave soon. Amazon will also make sure that the Simon & Schuster titles are well promoted within its store. Seeing how the digital book segment has been prone to investigations and allegations, particularly when it comes to Apple’s deals, Amazon must be very careful how they operate here.