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Hachette drops plans to acquire Perseus Books Group

By Daniel S Levine,

Hachette, the publisher in the middle of an ongoing battle over revenue with Amazon, has decided to drop its plans to acquire Perseus Books Group. Initially, the acquisition of the company was supposed to help Hachette in its battle with America’s largest online retailer.

Back in June, Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch told The New York Times that the company, which is already among the biggest publishers in the country, was going to acquire Perseus. While he claimed that the deal was just part of Hachett’s “strategic long-term plan to grow in the U.S. market,” it was clear that it was linked to the Amazon stand-off, as it could have helped strengthen its position in the battle.

But on Thursday, the deal fell through. According to the Los Angeles Times, the deal could have helped Hachette expand its foothold in nonfiction, since the company’s strong suit remains fiction. Hachette would have also picked up the Ingram distributing firm.

Publishers Weekly reported that Perseus’ distribution arm may have been an issue with Hachette, since valuing a distributor is difficult with electronic distribution now dominating the publishing industry.

Hachette is currently in the middle of a battle over ebook revenue with Amazon, which has been ongoing since May. That fight has lead to books by major Hachette authors like J.K. Rowling and Stephen Colbert having shipments of their books delayed.

image of J.K. Rowling courtesy of Roger Wong/INFGoff.com

 
 

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