SAN FRANCISCO (StartName) – Amazon.com Inc is in talks with Simon & Schuster Inc, the chief executive of the book publisher’s parent company said on Tuesday, representing a second front in Amazon’s feud with the publishing industry over digital book pricing.
The talks come as the largest online book retailer remains locked in a months-long impasse with Hachette, owned by France’s Lagardere, over the price of e-books sold on Amazon’s digital shelves.
Industry experts had expected other publishers eventually to be drawn into negotiations as well, as the Internet retailer tries to set new benchmarks for the ebook market.
“We are negotiating with Amazon as we speak so I don’t want to get into too much detail about it,” Les Moonves, president and chief executive officer of CBS Corp, which owns Simon and Schuster, said during Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado.
A video of the speech was posted on Fortune’s website (http://bit.ly/1ktVim9).
Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos and Moonves met in Sun Valley last week to discuss their businesses.
“Obviously Amazon has a very definitive point of view on what should be done in the publishing business. Those in the publishing world are not totally copacetic with it,” Moonves said.
The dispute with Hachette, which began roughly in January, has taken some nasty turns. Amazon delayed delivery of some Hachette titles, including sought-after print versions and, at one point, it removed a pre-order option for “The Silkworm,” by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith.
(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)