Amazon.com caves in to higher e-book prices, consumers lose

Amazon.com's surrender to Macmillan to raise prices on some of the publisher's e-books by as much as $5 should help authors out in the long run, but it isn't welcome news for readers.

Amazon's $9.99 price for new releases and best sellers is already too high for many of its users, who say that such non-physical books that they can't loan to friends or sell at a used-book store are overpriced.

Only days after Macmillan and four other large publishers agreed to provide content for Apple's iPad at prices tied to the same price as the print edition -- $12.99 to $14.99 for most general fiction and nonfiction titles in e-book form -- Amazon caved in to Macmillan's demands to allow it to sell its books on Amazon for the same prices as Apple's digital bookstore.

Just like that, Amazon lost an edge, although not much of one, that it had to the iPad -- cheaper books.

Amazon plans on keeping its new releases and best sellers at $9.99, but any Macmillan books it sells will be more expensive. Amazon briefly stopped selling Macmillan titles on Friday in response to the request, but gave in on Sunday and has started selling Macmillan books again.