2024-06-17 01:35:26
EU anger over ebook deal suggests hard times ahead for publishers | Books | guardian.co.uk books/Scrapbook

On Tuesday 1 March, several publishing offices in Europe were raided by inspectors from the European Commission. “They burst in like cowboys” said Francis Esménard, the president of French publisher Albin Michel, to journalists at 01net, even if “they were only going to find legal contracts”. Elsewhere, they seized smart phones and laptops from senior executives and no doubt ruined a good few lunches. No one likes to meet a Eurocrat at the best of times, but these ones may be beating the death knell of the publishing industry.The background to these raids is the agency model many big publishers have adopted to sell ebooks. Under this model, instead of selling the ebooks wholesale and allowing the retailer to set the price they charge the customers, the publisher itself sets the price of the ebooks and the retailer takes a commission. The potential problem with this arrangement is that it could, according to the EU commission statement explaining the raids, “violate EU anti-trust rules that prohibit cartels and other restrictive business practices”.

via EU anger over ebook deal suggests hard times ahead for publishers | Books | guardian.co.uk.

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