Amazon Binds With Penguin Random House, Last of the Big 5 Publishers to Do Such a Deal

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Early last year, war broke out between e-retailing giant Amazon (AMZN) and Hachette, the global Paris-based book seller that acquired Time Warner's (TWX) book division. The two sides jumped ugly when Amazon kept customers from pre-ordering Hachette books, reduced discounts and held back the shipment of titles for as long as a month. That resulted in a siege mentality that reigned at the 2014 BookExpo America that took place at New York’s Javits Center.

Now there's a deal, but as workers struck down the display booths at the 2015 confab last month, mum was essentially the word among the principals.

Sophie Cottrell, New York-based senior vice president of corporate communications for the Hachette Book Group, who was working the floor at the show, said, "I'm not able to comment on the Hachette Amazon dispute or its impact on the industry."

Brittany Turner, Seattle-based PR manager for Amazon was at the company's booth, where the Amazon brand took second billing to the Kindle Direct Logo. “We really have nothing to discuss beyond what has already been publicly stated,” she said. She referred to public statements made in November when the contracts were signed, which she said involved "a multi-year deal," but claimed not to know the specific number of years. She added, "We don’t publicly discuss the terms of our contracts."

"It was a two year deal." said Jim Milliot, editorial director of Publisher's Weekly, referring to the Amazon-Hachette accord. It's also believed that Hachette has some control over e-book pricing, a key sticking point.

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