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Apple Discounts Hachette E-Books Amid Spat With Amazon

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June 19 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is taking advantage of the dispute between Amazon.com Inc. and Hachette Book Group by promoting and discounting pre-orders for the publisher’s digital books.

There are 25 books featured for $9.99 in the Popular Pre-Orders category on Apple’s iBooks store, all of which are published by Hachette. Authors on the list include Harry Potter’s J.K. Rowling and mystery author James Patterson. Barnes & Noble Inc., another e-book competitor, is taking pre-orders for Rowling’s new work, “The Silkworm,” for $14.99 for its Nook tablet. The book, written under pseudonym Robert Galbraith, along with some of the others, isn’t available in physical or digital form for pre-orders on Amazon.

The promotion began on Tuesday, when features on the iTunes and iBooks stores are changed, Cupertino, California-based Apple said yesterday. The editorial department decides what to promote each week and Hachette pre-orders are being featured right now, including titles from Patterson and David Baldacci.

Amazon, the leader in e-book sales, has been battling Hachette over e-book pricing. The Seattle-based company previously said it doesn’t foresee the spat ending soon.

Sophie Cottrell, a spokeswoman for Hachette, declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jing Cao in New York at hcao38@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net Reed Stevenson