The War is Over – Amazon & Hachette end dispute.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/technology/amazon-hachette-ebook-dispute.html

Firstly, I am really glad for the authors that this has finally been resolved, because it was they in the long run that suffered.

Throughout the dispute I have unable to kick who was David and who was Goliath, the only thing I knew for sure was the reader and authors were the stone.  On one hand, Amazon much like Apple provide the content to readers, books (apps in the case of Apple) and control the medium it is received on, Kindle (iphone/app store for Apple).  In each of these cases they are self-perpetuating machines, used in financial control and gain, but being a business isn’t this expected.  The saving grace from the Amazon/Hachette saga is that Amazon wanted cheaper pricing for the books they provided and while not completely altruistic (cheaper books = more sales = more profit or volume versus capacity) the reader/buyer would be the ultimate winner, as they would pay a cheaper price for the material.

Hachette as the “provider” of the intellectual content wanted control of their own product, which is rightly so. Why should a owner have to bow to a third party much like the next door neighbour kid how comes round for dinner and wants seconds, plate reaching out and quiet voice asking can he have some more chicken.  Speaking in broad terms Hachette wanted to control their own pricing so they themselves can make a profit (yes even publishing is a business).  Amazon by looking to control how much people pay for Hachette books aim to be top dog and premier source of material to consumers. What both parties knew is Amazon can take the long view in such issues because they have access to multiple publishers each willing to compete and uncut Hachette to be number one and have there product featured.

In the long run both platform providers and product producers will always fight and quibble, each seeking control and the extra cent until such time one buys the other or fails.  It is the nature of business to make money, so can we really blame them for it.  Well yes a little, but that’s another topic completely.

Taken as a whole, authors needs publishers, publishers need platforms like Amazon and Amazon need buyers and now with the end in sight to this tug of war, the real winners will be the readers and the authors.  To them I say congrats. Hopefully, it will be many years until the next dispute (but I doubt it).

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