Apple negotiated lower prices for its e-books, $14.99 to be the maximum price?

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Apple shook up the e-book market with the recent introduction of iBookstore, its new e-book marketplace that is slated to debut on the iPad. Additionally, Apple partnered with five of the largest book publishers in a deal that would allow the publisher to set the prices of e-books to $12.99 to $14.99, and offered a profit-sharing arrangement in which Apple would take a 30% cut. Publishers boasted of their success and bullied Amazon into raising its Kindle e-book prices to the same price point set by Apple. All was well and good until a circulating rumor surfaced today that suggests Apple may have a trick or two up its sleeve. Apple has reportedly negotiated lower pricing on many of its e-books and that $12.99 – $14.99 price point being touted by publishers may actually be the top tier. Apple supposedly pushed publishers to offer discounts on best sellers, forcing prices down to a level that could rival Amazon’s $9.99 price point. Apple also reportedly negotiated a pricing scheme on non-bestsellers that is based upon the price of the hardcover edition of a book. An e-book with a hardcover edition worth less than $26 could have a price point well below $12.99. When the dust settles, we may have Amazon raising its e-book prices and Apple lowering its prices in a series of maneuvers that may have been brilliantly played by the boys from Cupertino.

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