By Edward Nawotka
As discussed in today’s lead story, European laws governing the sale of books vary wildly from country to country, often favoring print over e-books.
Many of the major markets have fixed book pricing and part of the reasoning behind fixed book prices is that it allows all retailers to compete on a level playing field when it comes to price.
So, what would happen if the European Commission legislated for a single, open market for e-books — one with a single law on prices and a uniform VAT. What would it look like? How would it function? Is it, even, a possibility? Would it allow innovative publishers and retailers from smaller countries to compete with the larger players in the market more readily? Or would it likely give those publishers and retailers already dominant in their respective marketplaces and unassailable position from which to operate?