Are Overstock.com and Amazon in a price war?

Overstock.com is offering 'tens of thousands' of books at '10 percent off Amazon's book prices.' Now Amazon has reduced the prices of many of its bestsellers by as much as 50 to 65 percent.

By , Staff Writer

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    Overstock.com says its price discounts at '10 percent off Amazon's book prices' will last at least a week.
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Online bookseller Amazon has slashed prices on many of its bestselling titles after the website Overstock.com discounted its books to what the site said was 10 percent off the Amazon prices.

The Overstock.com site boasts that Overstock.com “wrote the book on savings” and specifically challenges Amazon in its ad.

According to the Overstock website, the super-low prices are only available for a week. The company had previously said that the promotion would last "a limited time."

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“Everyone is accustomed to looking at Amazon when they’re shopping for books,” an anonymous spokesperson for Overstock.com told the website Internet Retailer. “We’re hoping this will get them to look at Overstock first.”

Whether or not the move was made in response to Overstock’s new strategy, the fact remains that Amazon has since discounted many of its bestselling titles, such as “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini and “Inferno” by Dan Brown, to extremely low prices, implementing discounts of as much as 50 to 65 percent discounts in some cases. “Mountains” is currently available on the site for $12.04 compared to its original $28.95 list price. (The one exception: J.K. Rowling’s newest title "The Cuckoo's Calling." The book is discounted, but at a less steep 42 percent, for a current price of $15.20 versus its original $26.)

It's only the latest skirmish in the drama that has become the e-book pricing wars. It was Amazon’s low prices that caused Apple and other publishers to allegedly create a plan to fix prices on e-books in an attempt to compete with the online bookseller. The other publishers settled, but Apple was recently found guilty by the Justice Department of conspiring to raise the prices. Apple had allegedly suggested going with the “agency model” for prices, in which the publisher would assign prices rather allowing booksellers like booksellers like Amazon to set the standard.

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