NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon says a dispute between it and publisher Hachette that has made it more difficult to buy Hachette books on the site could drag out.
It is even saying that customers should go to its competitors if they need a book published by the major New York publishing house quickly.
The e-commerce giant said late Tuesday it has been ordering less stock from Hachette and stopped letting customers pre-order books by Hachette authors, which include J.K. Rowling, James Patterson and Michael Connelley. Hachette said the changes affect about 5,000 titles. The changes had been widely reported but Amazon had not commented on them previously.
"If you order 1,000 items from Amazon, 989 will be unaffected by this interruption," Amazon said in a statement. "If you do need one of the affected titles quickly, we regret the inconvenience and encourage you to purchase a new or used version from one of our third-party sellers or from one of our competitors."
Hachette on Friday and then again on Wednesday that it would "spare no effort" to resume normal business operations with Amazon.
But Amazon said Tuesday it was "not optimistic" the companies would reach an agreement soon.
"Hachette has operated in good faith and we admire the company and its executives," Amazon said in a statement. "Nevertheless, the two companies have so far failed to find a solution."
Amazon and Hachette are reportedly at odds over terms for e-book prices, at a time when Amazon is in a position of strength and vulnerability. The Seattle-based company is the most powerful force in the book market, believed to have a share of more than 60 percent of e-book sales and at least a third of book sales overall. Rivals have struggled to compete with Amazon's discounts and customer service.