Amazon pretends it wants lower prices

Amazon says it will bow to pressure from book publisher Macmillan and sell electronic versions of its books at higher prices.

In a classic manoeuvre, the etailer is blaming publishers for putting up prices. Never mind that the likes of Borders have gone out of business trying to compete with the on-line giant.

Macmillan and other publishers have criticised Amazon for charging too little for best-selling e-books such as Hilary Mantel's Booker prize winning Wolf Hall, on its Kindle gizmo. It could be had for just $9.99 until this weekend when it was stripped from Amazon's virtual shelves following the spat.

Macmillan is complaining that it won't flog any hardbacks if it has to compete with such low prices on the Kindle.

"We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan's terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles," Amazon pontificated on its web site. "We will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books."

Fancy Macmillan having a monopoly on the books it produces!

Other firms such as Barnes & Noble and Sony Corp. are pitching for a slice of the ebooks market.

But we can't help thinking this has something to do with Apple.