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Amazon.com Inc.’s share price down, circumvents Hachette by offering writers 100% of e-book proceeds

Amazon.com Inc. is to offer authors, who are involved in the companys dispute with Hachette Book Group all of the proceeds gained from any digital books sale. This step is considered a strategy of the company to circumvent the publisher and refer directly to the authors.

The Web retailing giant sent a letter to writers, proposing its terms directly to the authors and ignoring Hachette Book Group as the fierce dispute over a new e-book contract continue. Instead of accepting the latest Amazons offer, Hachette Book Group, which is currently the fourth-biggest book publisher in the U.S., asked the Web retailing giant to immediately withdraw sanctions on its books.

Ms. Sophie Cottrell, who is one of the official representatives of Hachette, said in an e-mailed statement that was cited by Bloomberg: “We invite Amazon to withdraw the sanctions they have unilaterally imposed.”

On the other hand, Amazon.com Inc. revealed that it tried to negotiate over the terms with the publisher in January, but failed to reach an agreement. As reported by Reuters, Amazon commented in its letter to authors: “Unless Hachette dramatically changes their negotiating tempo, this is going to take a really long time.”

Mr. Douglas Preston, who was also included to the letter sent by Amazon.com Inc., commented on the proposal of Amazon for Bloomberg, sharing his opinion that it would harm writers contracts: “Hachette would never accept something like this. It seems to me like an attempt to divide authors from publishers. It seems like a negotiating ploy rather than a serious attempt to bring the two sides together.”

Currently, Amazon has concentrated on gaining a bigger share of e-book revenue and lower e-book prices, which is why it had undertaken the step of sending the letter to writers. The private talks with Hachette Book Group have turned into a public dispute that affects the future of the entire book industry.

Amazon.com Inc. was 2.92% down to close at 323.81 dollars per share yesterday, marking a one-year change of +11.43%. According to the information published on CNN Money, the 40 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Amazon.com Inc. have a median target of 422.50, with a high estimate of 500.00 and a low estimate of 330.00. The median estimate represents a +30.48% increase from the last price of 323.81.

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