Random House UK to stay outside of agency despite US move

Random House UK to stay outside of agency despite US move

Random House UK has said it will continue to evaluate options for e-book pricing but will not follow its US business in adopting the agency model.

A statement from Random House US issued overnight said agency would guarantee a higher margin for retailers. It said: "Going forward, Random House will set consumer prices for the e-books we publish, and we will provide retailers with a commission for each sale. There are no changes to our terms of sale for physical books."

It added: "We are making this change both as an investment in the successful digital transition of our existing partners and in order to give us the opportunity to forge new retail relationships.

"We are looking forward to continuing to work with all our retail partners—both digital and physical—on our joint mission to connect our authors with as many readers as possible, in whatever format they prefer."

However, Random House UK said it had a wait and see policy on the pricing model. When the Office of Fair Trading launched its investigation into e-book pricing in February, publishers outside agency said they would be more cautious about it while it was under review.

A spokesperson for Random House UK did not refer to the OFT investigation but said: "New commercial models in the fast changing e-book environment are constantly under review. Across our territories—not least in the UK—we continue to evaluate our options and talk to all e-tailers as it is our mission to ensure that our authors' books are available on all platforms to all potential customers."