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Will a Collapse of the Euro Slow European E-book Adoption?

By Edward Nawotka

The news out of Europe has been dominated by the effort of the German and French governments to bail out Italy — and thus save the Euro from collapsing. If one thinks back, it wasn’t that long ago that financial industry pundits were lauding the Euro as an even better and more stable reserve currency than the Dollar. And now the Euro is under threat of dissolution. Should it happen that the countries of Europe return to their own individual currencies, what effect will it have on European e-book adoption. One of the things has enabled multinational companies like Amazon, Kobo and Google to quickly establish viable e-book business’ in Europe has been the existence of the single currency, with facilitates easier transactions and accounting, not to mention eliminates pricing hassles and FX (foreign exchange) fees, which can cut into a company’s slim profits. If that factor is eliminated, will it hinder adoption? Will it slow more companies with the scale and ambition to work across borders from entering neighboring marketplaces?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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  1. Posted November 28, 2011 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Or it could go the other way round. The crisis could speed up ebook growth. People will be looking for savings and they will be more determined to learn about ebooks and find out how much there is to save.

    I remember a fantastic article by Mike Elgan for Computerworld from February, 2009. The economy was (and is) one of the driving factors for ebook adoption.

    Read the article here: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9127538/Elgan_Here_comes_the_e_book_revolution

    What may slow down? Purchases of dedicated ebook devices. But that doesn’t mean people won’t get interested in ebooks. They’ll just use devices they already have: computers and mobile phones.

    Actually, I believe that more consumers will make wiser decisions. They’ll first decide on ebook ecosystem. After that, they’ll buy a device. It’s the right order.


  2. Posted November 28, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    If anything, it will hasten it. E-books are cheaper for consumers.

  3. Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the Euro collapsing. I live in the Netherlands, and the consensus here is that going back to our former currency is a bad idea. Some propose creating the “Neuro” (a Euro for the economically stable countries in Northern Europe), but even that idea isn’t really taken seriously.

    I think a bigger obstacle is pricing. For instance, if you look at the front page of Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.de, they all have a Kindle price on there. Now, look at the prices:
    Amazon.com: $ 109 (roughly 82 Euros)
    Amazon.de: € 99

    That’s a difference of almost 20 Euros… Amazon.co.uk is even worse, offering the Kindle for £ 89, which amounts to over 100 Euros.

    When large companies like Amazon finally fix these price issues and just offer everything at a global flat rate, then we might see the rest of the world catch up with the US in terms of adopting e-books.

  4. Richard
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    It is not a case of if the euro will collapse – it will. Frankly – the sooner the better but when it does, there will no major obstacles to trade. With PayPal, WorldPay and others, selling into other currencies is simple and instant – unlike 40 years ago and pre EU. PayPal takes a fee for selling into the euro zone – so what’s the difference? Selling using PayPal etc within the euro zone will still attract a fee. Get real.
    After the collapse of the euro, so long as countries do not impose any tariffs or import duties, life will carry on.

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