Negotiation–a core skill for diplomats–can be observed. And now we have the release of Steve Job’s emails, thanks to the U.S. government and a New York lawsuit on price-fixing. The wiki-style reveal the step-by-step process
Those terms were never going to fly with Apple, which had successfully signed deals with HarperCollins’s rivals, like Penguin (a division of Pearson) and Simon & Schuster (part of CBS). Those deals would allow Apple and the publishers to set prices for new ebooks at $12.99—three dollars higher than the typical rate at that time on Amazon—and take a 30% cut of each sale.
But HarperCollins wanted the freedom to set its own prices and worried that $12.99 per ebook would hurt its sales on the new iPad as well as the Kindle. It also didn’t want to give up 30%. To back up its position, James Murdoch, a high-ranking News Corp. executive, forwarded Murray’s email to Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs and included the following note. It was still Friday.
It could be argued that iBooks hasn’t been a success when compared to Amazon, the most successful ebook distributor. Still, the industry in nascent and quite a lot could still change as preferences, alliances, and other factors come in to play.