Double Dose of Good News Sends Amazon Shares to New High (AMZN, AAPL, NOK, GOOG, CBS, NWS, PSO)

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced a new Kindle reader called the "Kindle Paperwhite," which includes a new front-lighting technology (called 'paperwhite') that allows the device to be used in the dark. Other changes include increased pixel density, a new color for the bezel, the elimination of the ';home' button, and eight weeks of battery life.

A Wi-Fi enabled version of the new Kindle will cost $119 and a 3G wireless version will sell for $179. Amazon also dropped the price of its existing Kindle reader to $69.

A new version of the Kindle Fire tablet, called the "Kindle Fire HD" is also being announced today. There are two versions of the device, one with a 7-inch screen and one with a 9-inch screen. The entry level price for the original Kindle Fire will be $159.

Amazon is taking orders for both the original Kindle and the new model today and will begin shipping on October 1st.

Today's announcement represents another shot at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), which is expected to announce a new iPhone 5 next week. A number of smartphone and tablet makers have piled product introductions and announcements into this week. Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) announced that it would begin shipping its latest Lumia phones some time this year at some price. Samsung Electronics has announced a new tablet and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) will add new models of the Motorola Razr line of smartphones.

More important than the new hardware, though, is a court ruling today that accepted a settlement by three of five book publishers named in an antitrust suit. The five publishers named in the March suit were Simon & Schuster, owned by CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS); HarperCollins, owned by News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWS); Penguin USA, owned by Pearson plc (NYSE: PSO); Hachette Book Group, owned by Lagardere SCA; and Macmillan, owned by Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH. Along with Apple, the publishers were defending themselves against charges that they colluded to keep e-book prices high in an effort to kill steep discounting by Amazon.

The three publishers that settled today are Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins. Apple, Penguin, and Macmillan are preparing for a trial in June 2013.

The court-approved settlement opens the door once again to Amazon's so-called "wholesale" model and undercuts the Apple-supported "agency" model, under which Apple receives 30% of a cover price set by the publisher. Under the wholesale model, a bookseller may sell the book at any price it wishes.

Shares of Amazon reached an all-time high today of $252.28, but have since pulled back a little to $249.55. The previous 52-week range was $166.97-$251.00.

Paul Ausick


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Consumer Electronics, Law, Retail Tagged: AAPL, AMZN, CBS, featured, GOOG, NOK, NWS, PSO
Read Full Story

Markets

S&P 500 2,191.95 0.87 0.04%
DJIA 19,170.42 -21.51 -0.11%
NASDAQ 5,255.65 4.55 0.09%
DAX 10,513.35 -20.70 -0.20%
HANG SENG 22,564.82 -313.41 -1.37%
NIKKEI 225 18,426.08 -87.04 -0.47%
USD (per EUR) 1.07 0.00 0.06%
USD (per CHF) 1.01 0.00 -0.01%
JPY (per USD) 113.48 -0.41 -0.36%
GBP (per USD) 1.27 0.01 1.16%

From Our Partners