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News Corp.’s HarperCollins And Apple?

The latest content spec about the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) whatchamacallit comes courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, which cites unidentified sources who say News Corp (NYSE: NWS) sibling HarperCollins is negotiating an e-book deal. That doesn’t mean there is a deal, of course, or that one will be announced at the unicorn expo Jan. 27 but count HarperCollins among those that very much would like to be part of the hooplah –especially if it’s a way of sticking it to Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN).

Under the version described by the Journal, HarperCollins would get to set its own prices and would add e-book-only features that ideally take advantage of multimedia and color display; Apple would get a cut. The enhanced versions could be sold for $14.99 to $19.99, compared to the usual $9.99 at Amazon. Would it be sold through iTunes or some new store? No answer to that. I wouldn’t think it makes sense to set up an entirely new store but this is Apple, so anything is possible.

This is the same HarperCollins, mind you, that is so into e-books it’s stifling the ability to buy its hot political book Game Change on Kindle while it’s, well, hot, on the theory that it can push readers to buy the hardback. (If you want to read the e-version, preorder for $8.61 and wait for the Feb. 23 Whispernet delivery, then pretend you can remember why you cared six weeks ago.) I would have bought the impulse download but am now thinking library.