Hachette Livre accused over Paris Book Fair 'denigration'

<p>A senior Reed Exhibitions manager has accused Hachette Livre of denigrating the Paris Book Fair, which opens for six days on 26th March.<br /><br />An article on the Hachette Livre online book club site Myboox said that the group was scaling back its display area from 900 to 800 sq metres because of the &quot;exorbitant&quot; rates charged by Reed, which runs the Salon du Livre.<br /><br />In an open letter to the publishing group&#39;s c.e.o. Arnaud Nourry, Jean-Daniel Compain, general manager of Reed Exhibitions&#39; culture, sport and leisure division, said that Hachette &quot;seems to seek failure&quot; for the fair and that &quot;all the other exhibitors are surprised by the campaign of denigration.&quot; </p><p>He claimed that Hachette had exaggerated the prices charged, took no account of new attractions for professionals and was just &quot;attacking a public event to strengthen its strategic leadership over the [book publishing] sector.&quot;</p><p>Hachette Livre rejected Reed&#39;s allegations. &quot;Mr Compain built his case on things we never said,&quot; said communications director Ronald Blunden. &quot;We have been very careful neither to disparage the Salon nor to influence other publishers.&quot; The Myboox team &quot;has total editoral independence,&quot; he added. Although Hachette is maintining a token presence at the fair, publishing house Bayard has pulled out completely.<br /><br />The latest spat adds nothing to the debate over the future of the Salon du Livre, which is owned by the French Publishers Association (Syndicat National de l&#39;Edition, SNE). Hachette Livre had already said that value for money was one of its reasons for reducing its presence this year, and various options are on the table for change. </p>