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Mitterand warns on 'predatory' e-book pricing
16.05.12 | Barbara Casassus
Outgoing French culture minister Frédéric Mitterrand has written to European Competition commissioner Joaquin Almnunia warning that investigations now underway could foster predatory book pricing by powerful distributors such as Amazon, the French trade publication Livres Hebdo has reported.
Allowing publishers to fix prices has proved to be the best way of preventing a single player from imposing its economic model in the United States and Europe, and has permitted them to reduce e-book prices to levels that “reconcile the legitimate interests of the consumer and a fair remuneration for creation”, he said.
In assessing fair competition and editorial diversity in the e-book market, the Commission should take account of the tax advantages and strategy of selling at a loss applied by Amazon and other large American internet operators, added Mitterrand, whose successor will be named today (16th May) in the government to be formed following socialist François Hollande’s election as president on the 6th.
E-book pricing is under fire from the competition authorities in the United States and Europe.