“Days after Macmillan essentially forced Amazon to accept higher prices for its Kindle e-book titles, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., said his publishing company HarperCollins is also in talks to increase titles beyond $9.99,” Slash Lane reports for AppleInsider.

“During his company’s earnings call this week, Murdoch revealed that he doesn’t like the $9.99 pricing currently employed by Amazon because it devalues books and hurts retailers who sell the hardcover editions,” Lane reports. “But he noted Apple’s content deals for its new iPad allow publishers more flexibility to set prices at a level they believe is fair.”

“‘Apple — in its agreement with us, which has not been disclosed in detail — does allow for a variety of slightly higher prices,’ Murdoch said. ‘There will be prices very much less than the printed copies of books, but still will not be fixed in a way that Amazon has been doing it.’ Now, Murdoch said, Amazon is ‘ready to sit down’ with HarperCollins to renegotiate pricing of books on the Kindle,” Lane reports.

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MacDailyNews Note: Author Charles Stross blogs, “Just before Apple announced the iPad and the agency deal for ebooks, Amazon pre-empted by announcing an option for publishing ebooks in which they would graciously reduce their cut from 70% to 30%, ‘same as Apple.’ From a distance this looks competitive, but the devil is in the small print; to get the 30% rate, you have to agree that Amazon is a publisher, license your rights to Amazon to publish through the Kindle platform, guarantee that you will not allow other ebook editions to sell for less than the Kindle price, and let Amazon set that price, with a ceiling of $9.99. In other words, Amazon choose how much to pay you, while using your books to undercut any possible rivals (including the paper editions you still sell). It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the major publishers don’t think very highly of this offer.”

Full article here.