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Amazon keeps HarperCollins titles on its digital store shelves

Just two weeks ago, with their contract set to expire, a deal between Amazon and the book publisher didn't look too promising. Now the standoff has ended, though neither is revealing details.

HarperCollins and Amazon signed a deal to keep the companies in business together. Sarah Tew/CNET

Book publisher HarperCollins and Amazon have inked a deal that will keep the company's books on the e-retail giant's digital store shelves.

A HarperCollins spokeswoman confirmed to CNET on Tuesday that it has "reached an agreement with Amazon and our books will continue to be available on the Amazon print and digital platforms." The spokeswoman did not disclose the terms of the deal, but it ends a standoff between the companies that could have resulted in HarperCollins titles being removed from Amazon.com and the company's Kindle e-book store.

Amazon declined to comment on the agreement.

Amazon has found itself in a war with book publishers that have grown increasingly concerned over the company's dominance in offering books and e-books to customers. The book publishers are specifically worried that Amazon's popularity gives it too much control over the contract negotiations with publishers.

A major sticking point between the companies is which party -- Amazon or publishers -- can control e-book pricing. Amazon wants to offer e-books at a discounted price to attract shoppers, while publishers want to set standard pricing across all services, including Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iBooks.

Last year, Amazon's battle with book publishers hit a tipping point with another major publisher, Hachette. As the companies engaged in negotiations over which firm would set e-book prices, Amazon briefly stopped offering preorders on upcoming Hachette titles and refused to restock its books. The move was viewed as an attempt by Amazon to show just how much weight it carries in controlling book sales.

Still, the companies finally came to an agreement in November that saw Hachette have the right to set e-book pricing. It was a rare victory for a book publisher in battles with Amazon, though the e-commerce company said that the deal also includes terms that provide financial incentive for Hachette to keep its costs down.

The Hachette deal came weeks after Amazon agreed to allow Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CNET parent company CBS, to control e-book pricing. Macmillan, another major book publisher, reached an agreement soon after.

A deal between HarperCollins and Amazon didn't look too promising last month. Just two weeks ago Business Insider reported, citing people who said they had knowledge of the negotiations, that things were not going well between the companies and their contract was set to expire "very soon." Amazon, according to the report, was ready to pull all HarperCollins books if they couldn't come to an agreement.

This deal sidesteps any possibility of those titles leaving Amazon.