There are many different e-book stores selling e-books at what publishers feel is a sustainable price and discount. The landscape for publishers looks quite a bit like the print era – sales are healthy because multiple e-book vendors are adept at reaching new audiences and publishers are able to invest in finding new ways to market in the Internet era.
Authors have the option of dealing with e-book distributors if they want to take on the responsibility of editing and designing their own books, but it wouldn’t be very advantageous for authors to deal directly with any one e-book vendor because the bookselling market is so fragmented. Only publishers and e-distributors have the reach to make an e-book available through all the different e-book stores, and thus the middle men (publishers or distributors) are crucial in order to reach readers, just as you needed a publisher or distributor to reach readers in the print era.
When the dust clears the e-book era looks a whole lot like the print era.