If you follow publishing news then you might know that there’s a fix price law in Germany for book (and ebooks). You might also know that Switzerland doesn’t have such a law, much to the dismay of German publishers.
Ex Libris are a Swiss online retailer. They sell books, music, gadgets, etc, and they also used to sell ebooks. The problem here is that Ex Libris want to sell ebooks at a competitive price, and their German suppliers disagree. The German publishers, including Random House, have cut off Ex Libris until the retailer agrees to stop discounting the ebooks. Ex Libris had been selling them at 30% off list.
BTW, the most important detail here is that Ex Libris offered the discount from their own share of the list price. They never paid their suppliers less than the full share.
But think about this for a second. The German publishers are choosing higher ebook prices over legitimate sales. They’re making it difficult for some customers to buy their ebooks. They’re basically saying that they’d prefer to have someone pirate the ebook rather than get a discount.
P.S. My position on this has always been clear. I’ve always been in favor of price competition. A free market is better for the customer.
image by JackSim