by ┬á Jillian D’Onfro
The contract between “Big Five” book publisher HarperCollins and Amazon is about to expire and HarperCollins is refusing to sign an agreement with the new terms that Amazon is asking, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Business Insider.
The contract presented to HarperCollins was the same contract recently signed by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan, our source says.
If HarperCollins and Amazon don’t come to an agreement, no print or digital HarperCollins books will be available on Amazon once its current contract runs out “very soon,” our source says.
Last year, Amazon and Hachette fought a brutal, public battle after its contract expired in March. After a long back-and-forth, the two came to an agreement that reportedly gave Hachette “control over most of its pricing but offered incentives to sell at lower prices,” while Amazon “got increased co-op funds, the payments for placement on the retailerÔÇÖs website.” At the time, both Amazon and Hachette said they were “pleased with the agreement” and Simon & Schuster and Macmillan both signed a similar contracts.
A HarperCollins spokesperson said that the publisher does not comment on its contracts with retailers.
An Amazon spokesperson sent the following:
“I canÔÇÖt comment on that rumor. I can say that we have offered Harper the same terms for a contract that Simon & Schuster, Hachette and Macmillan have all recently agreed to.”
In late 2013, HarperCollins formed a partnership with Accenture to sell e-books of the “Chronicles of Narnia” and titles by C.S. Lewis on individual websites. In July 2014, it decided to start selling its own print and e-books directly through HarperCollins.com, cutting Amazon out of the equation for some sales.
At the time, Forbes contributor Jeremy Greenfield wrote that Amazon was “taking steps to build and strengthen alternate retail channels, grow in size and create new business lines” so that it wouldn’t have to rely as much on Amazon. As the publisher and Amazon continue their negotiations, HarperCollins will likely be relying on these alternate retail channels even more.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.