Amazon to stop discounting best-selling e-books

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You'd think that not having to buy an honest-to-goodness book, with its manufacturing costs, would save you money. Not so much anymore, thanks to competition from Apple's new iPad, which makes its official debut Saturday.

Amazon.com will no longer heavily discount e-book best-sellers, following a new pricing deal with publishers Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins.

Some new best sellers will be priced at $9.99, but most will range between $12.99 to $14.99, which is still cheaper than buying a new hardcover. Then again, you don't need electronic equipment to read a real book.

Amazon's Kindle has dominated the e-book market since it appeared in November 2007, and Amazon had regularly offered new best-sellers at $9.99. But publishers never liked the discounting because they feared people might get used to lower prices.

The new deal means that Amazon will be selling the same titles that Apple will offer on its digital bookstore, and mirrors a deal the publishers previously made with Apple, which has now struck agreements with five of the six major publishers to provide content for its iPad.

Amazon is also in discussions with two other major publishers, Hachette Book Group and Penguin Group, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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