Amazon’s UK Kindle store has now moved to ‘agency model’ pricing for ebooks published by Hachette, HarperCollins and Penguin despite previously vowing to “fight” for the right to set its own prices.
Under the ‘agency model’ system publishers set the retail price for books which booksellers are then obliged to sell at.
Previously retailers set their own prices for books which in some cases resulted in huge variations between outlets, a situation some in the publishing industry say confuses buyers over the true costs of books.
Last month Amazon’s UK Kindle team published a blog post in which they claimed moving to the agency model would “raise prices on e-books for consumers almost across the board”.
Kindle Books sold via Amazon.co.uk on agency terms are being flagged with the disclaimer “This price was set by the publisher”.
The retailer claims that when some US publishers previously adopted agency terms prices for titles published by them increased “sales immediately shifted away from agency publishers and towards the rest of our store.”