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Amazon inks deal to sell e-books through other retailers

Amazon Publishing's New York imprint deal with Ingram will allow competitors such as Apple and Barnes & Noble to offer Amazon titles.

A Kindle e-reader
Sarah Tew/CNET

An Amazon publishing division has inked a partnership with a book distributor that could help ease some of the tension in the e-book industry.

Amazon's New York-based book publishing imprint signed a deal with book distributor Ingram Content Group that will allow Amazon competitors such as Apple and Barnes & Noble to sell Amazon titles, PaidContent reported today.

"We welcome Amazon Publishing's New York adult group to the growing list of publishers who use our service," Phil Ollila, Ingram Content Group's chief content officer, told PaidContent. The partnership does not include Amazon's West Coast imprints.

Tensions between Amazon and Barnes & Noble, the world's largest brick-and-mortar bookseller, began to flare when Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire tablet and announced an exclusive deal with DC Comics to sell digital copies of 100 of DC's graphic novels exclusively on the Fire.

In response to the DC deal, Barnes & Noble removed the physical copies of the titles from its store shelves, saying that it would not sell books it did not also have digital rights to. Books-a-Million, another large bookseller, took the same action for the same reason. Now that Barnes & Noble has access to some of Amazon's titles, CNET has contacted the bookseller for comment on whether it will revise that policy. We will update this report when we learn more.

However, Amazon's apparent olive branch is unlikely to soothe the feelings of Apple, which has accused Amazon of being the "driving force" behind federal prosecution over alleged e-book price fixing. Apple, which denies the price-fixing allegations, says the Justice Department's settlement with three book publishers' unfairly impacts Apple.

While Amazon's competitors are under no obligation to offer the e-books, some of the featured titles include Timothy Ferriss' "The 4-Hour Chef," Penny Marshall's "My Mother Was Nuts," and Jessica Valenti's "Why Have Kids?"