Amazon made a semi-public statement about its dispute with Hachette in a post in its own
Although the location is not surprising -- Amazon has recently been using its public message boards for official corporate communications -- it is notable, considering what the post says.
"With this update, we're providing specific information about Amazon's objectives," it begins. "A key objective is lower e-book prices."
Amazon then makes its case that e-books should cost $9.99 or less instead of $14.99-$19.99. "E-books can be and should be less expensive," the company writes.
Because the Kindle discussion forum is a place for Kindle owners -- people who gather to discuss Kindles and e-books -- they are certainly a target audience for making the case that e-books should be cheaper. They are, ostensibly, specifically e-book buyers.
Asking a consumer if what they're consuming should be cheaper is sort of a slam dunk. It's sort of like standing outside a movie theater and saying tickets to "The Avengers" should be cheaper. Or a bar and asking, "Are you going to pay $15 for a cocktail -- don't you agree that cocktails should be $10?" Everybody wants a bargain.
Of course, Amazon isn't a consumer advocate -- it's a retailer with its own agenda.
It lays out its case for why $9.99 can work. The company writes, "the lower price, total revenue increases 16%" and "at $9.99, the total pie is bigger." Their math checks out, but it's not the whole story.
Amazon's case is based on certain assumptions -- assumptions about how a price point affects e-book sales, assumptions about the costs publishers should bear, assumptions about how e-book pricing may affect sales or pricing of print books.
If Amazon gets its way, e-books will end up costing less. But that may not be, as the company states, "good for all the parties involved."