Sony (s SNE) is at least temporarily ending the 20p price promotion in the U.K. Reader Store, The Bookseller reported Monday. The 20p promotion, which had been running since July 2012, sold selected ebooks for 20 pence (USD $0.30).
Amazon (s AMZN) U.K. matched all of Sony’s prices, leading to a deeply discounted market for many ebooks and causing concern for publishers about the devaluation of their product (even though the retailers were paying them the full prices on the discounted ebooks).
The end of the 20p promotion is tied to Sony’s redesign of its U.K. digital bookstore. “Discounted 20p pricing is not currently offered on the newly relaunched UK Reader Store,” a Sony rep told The Bookseller. “However, pricing is always subject to revision. The duration of our 20p pricing is indicative of our commitment to provide great eBooks at exceptionally accessible prices, which is a philosophy we continue to hold.”
Many of the books included in the promotion shot up U.K. bestseller lists, but some publishers and others were concerned that the promotions would devalue ebooks by permanently lowering the prices that consumers were willing to pay. Those concerns may be lessened now, though Sony could always start its 20p promotion again — or Amazon could start one.