How's this for a nyah-nyah duel? Amazon Vs. Macmillan, Round Three: Amazon caves and agrees to allow e-book pricing to be set much more competitively, but does so via an announcement worded for maximum acidity:
Macmillan, one of the “big six” publishers, has clearly communicated to us that, regardless of our viewpoint, they are committed to switching to an agency model and charging $12.99 to $14.99 for e-book versions of bestsellers and most hardcover releases.
We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. 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, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books. Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it’s reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book. We don’t believe that all of the major publishers will take the same route as Macmillan. And we know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity to provide attractively priced e-books as an alternative.
Kindle is a business for Amazon, and it is also a mission. We never expected it to be easy!
Good going, both of you. I guess we should quit expecting corporations to exhibit anything like civility or class or decorum — but silly me, I keep getting my hopes up.
Press releases this snarky are events all by themselves. I remember 20th Century Fox being every bit as blunt when they axed the director of one of their biggest flop-busters of decades past:
In exchange for top compensation and a considerable expense account, Mr. Joseph Mankiewicz has for two years spent his time, talent and $35,000,000 of Twentieth Century-Fox's shareholders' money [in 1963 dollars] to direct and complete the first cut of the film Cleopatra. He has earned a well-deserved rest.