When Les Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation, the owners of Simon & Schuster, let slip that the Big 5 house was in pricing talks with Amazon, the media world did its best to react with shock.
Any expression of surprise, however, could only have been for appearance’s sake. As close observers of the book world already had guessed, the giant e-tailer is likely negotiating quietly with both S&S and HarperCollins, even as its public brawl with Hachette continues.
“After all, these are the three publishers that settled with the U.S. Department of Justice right out of the gate in the Apple e-book price-fixing case, and their agreements were probably all terminated roughly at the same time,” reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.
“The question everyone wants an answer for is will S&S get the same tough treatment from Amazon as Hachette? Time will tell,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally, “but what is notable is the complete universe of deals that CBS has with Amazon, in television, music, as well as books.”
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.