By Siobhan O’Leary
Buchhandlung Schopf, a small bookstore in the town of Brunsbüttel in northern Germany, was fed up with customers strolling in brandishing printouts from Amazon.de touting cheaper prices and took Amazon to court, alleging the online retailer is ignoring Germany’s fixed book price laws. The bookstore’s owner, Dietrich Wienecke, began sending warnings to Amazon as far back as 2006.
According to Buchreport, a proposed compromise was brokered calling for Amazon.de to synchronize its prices with that of German book wholesalers Libri and KNV, databases are the source of pricing information for at least 80% of owner-managed bookstores in Germany. The Libri and KNV databases have considerably fewer price irregularities in their data than Amazon.de and, according to the compromise, would at least ensure that price errors be implemented consistently.
Amazon.de rejected the proposal and the case will be tried in a Hamburg district court this January.