Some European Publishers Avoid Pricing Battles

By Jason Boog Comment

wmlogo.gifAs American stores battle to have the lowest price for new books, some European publishers are, for better or for worse, exempt from fighting these pricing squabbles.

A few weeks ago, Walmart (WMT) slashed book prices online, reducing the “10 pre-selling books on its website” to $10 apiece–sweetening the deal with free shipping. This move touched off a book discounting war in between (AMZN), Walmart, and finally, Target (TGT). According to the Wall Street Journal, many countries in Europe are protected from these price wars through fixed price system–illustrating how stores in France and Germany must sell books at the publisher’s price point.

Here’s more from the article, outlining the scope of two different countries: “The system protects independent booksellers and smaller publishers from giant rivals that could discount their way to more market share. Along with some 7,000 bookshops, nearly 14,000 German publishers remain in business.Together, German companies published more than 96,000 new titles last year. In the nearly four-times-as-large U.S., 275,000 titles were published.” (Via Publishers Weekly)