Does Europe Need a Single Open Market for E-books?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Sony reader pocket

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?

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.