Feeds

EC raids German publishers in Net book boycott probe

Price fixing under threat

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

The European Commission has raided five German publishers, including mighty Bertelsmann, to see if they colluded in a boycott of Internet booksellers.

And it's all Austria's fault. More than 30 German publishers and book wholesalers refused to supply Libro, an Austrian online book retailer, when it started offering from 1 July 20 per cent discounts on books.

On 28 July, Libro said it would stop offering discounted books to German customers, and revealed that Bertelsmann and other publishers would resume supplies if it dropped legal action demanding compensation for loss of sales, according to Bloomberg.

In making this agreement, Libro may have also fallen foul of EC rules against restrictive competition.

In Germany, price setting for books is legal - retailers charge at the price set by publishers and have done so for more than a hundred years (the UK equivalent, the Net Book Agreement, was scrapped some years ago). In 1993, the system was extended to Austria, an EU member since 1995, and Switzerland. However, under EU rules, it is illegal to fix prices in more than one member state. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.