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Switzerland Debates Details of Reinstated Fixed Price Laws

By Siobhan O’Leary

Swiss Flag

Switzerland’s Council of States will be meeting on March 2nd to discuss the upcoming reinstatement of the country’s fixed book price law.

According to buchreport, the law could be adopted as early as March 19th and the Schweizer Buchhändler- und Verlegerverband (SBVV – Swiss Booksellers and Publishers Association) sees only a couple of drawbacks in the draft currently under consideration. For one thing, the National Council of Switzerland has spoken out in favor of the  SBVV-supported plan allowing for book price increases of up to 20% over the price of a given book in its country of origin, but debates have arisen about who should have authority over price adjustments.

Perhaps even more contentious is the question of whether online book retailers should be answerable to the fixed book price law. The National Council has battled to exclude them from the law but the SBVV has spoken out vehemently against this idea.

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  1. Jill A Tardiff
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Switzerland SBVV should really look long and hard at their counterparts in Japan before taking that fatal step backwards. As contrary as it sounds fixed price laws works only in favor of the larger/chain bookstores [many of which are designated as wholesalers in Japan]. Once again the small-to-mid sized bookstores are left with no creative option to compete on a fair scale.

  2. Posted February 16, 2010 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    If this comes to pass, does anyone know if the law will include direct to consumer marketing i.e. books sold by a publisher in the UK, direct to a member of the Swiss public?

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