Lauretta at Constellation Books in Reisterstown alerted me to the high-stakes spat between Macmillan, one of the nation's largest publishers, and Amazon. According to The New York Times, Macmillan's insistence that Amazon boost the price of e-books from its standard $9.99 to about $15 led the e-commerce giant to limit sales on those books. For example, if you looked for Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall," a Macmillan book, you'd find no Kindle version listed. (In fact, the book was only available from third-party sellers on Sunday.) UPDATE -- Amazon posted a note to customers late Sunday saying it would "ultimately" give in to Macmillan's demands. It's on the jump.
Consider this just another round -- of many -- in the battle between publishers and retailers over the future of e-book sales. As we've noted before, publishers are worried about preserving profit margins, and shudder at e-books prices under $10. They're more comfortable with the Apple iPad model, which would give publishers more control and set higher e-book prices. Amazon, meanwhile, is trying to maintain its dominance in e-commerce against challengers such as Walmart and Target. Billions of dollars are at stake, so the battle is likely to be long and bloody. And hopefully, the interests of consumers won't get lost in the fog of war.