back to article Retailers: You could get the chance to TEAR UP Penguin ebook contracts

Retailers could be offered the chance to terminate some agreements formed with Penguin over the sale of electronic books as part of the UK publishing company's bid to resolve European Commission concerns about the nature of those agreements. Penguin has formed an informal agreement with the Commission over its practices in …


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Price Fixing?

"Commission said that the company may have been involved in an illegal cartel operation with Apple and several other publishers."

And I believe the Sun may have risen this morning.

Seriously? These cretins thought they could gouge customers with hardback prices for (often poorly formatted) eBooks? They need to wake up and smell the coffee!

Anonymous Coward

Re: Price Fixing?

No, they were trying to stop Amazon from fixing the prices at levels Amazon wanted them to be at, which were chosen by Amazon to gain the most money for Amazon whilst crushing publishers and authors. Unfortunately, they chose the wrong means to do it, and got slapped down.


Re: Price Fixing?

It was still price fixing, which is inherently wrong.

The publishers should set the wholesale price. This is the price, that the retailer pays for each copy. The retailer should then be free to sell at any price they like, even at a loss.

Why should Penguin, Hachette, etc give a damn about how much their books are sold for as long as they get the price per copy they ask for?

This was, as we all know, an agreement to ensure a certain retailer got their 30% mark-up, and to prevent the likes of Amazon undercutting them.


Re: Price Fixing?

"chosen by Amazon to gain the most money for Amazon whilst crushing publishers and authors"

No: Amazon are prepared to take a small slice, wishing the pie to grow. Apple wanted a large slice for its iBooks so the publishers had to sell to Apple at a higher price than to Amazon, just to maintain their income. The MFN clause meant that the publishers would automatically stop selling cheaper books to Amazon => the pie doesn't grow &/or the customer loses.

Declaration of interest: I do have a Kindle but buy many of my books as EPUBs (not from Amazon) so I can emend the worst typos and then convert to MOBI.


Re: Price Fixing?

"The retailer should then be free to sell at any price they like, even at a loss."

If you do that you could end up being sued for abusing a dominant position.

Although you do have to have a dominant position to be sued, Amazon comes to mind.


What needs to be done..

is for the publishers to set up thie own site, and tell amazon to go shove their heads where the sun don't shine!

Fight the common enemy or go out of business!


Re: What needs to be done..

Indeed they can sell them in their own site like Baen does, but still it is better for them to keep selling at Amazon too.

Amazon give them access to millions of potential customers that may not even know they exist, specially thanks to the 'you may also like' recommendations.

Also asking potential customers to register at you site to buy a book is a good way to lose the sale.

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