Wednesday, April 29, 2009

French Price Fixing Good for Independents

In an interview with Hungarian Literature Online, Jean Mattern, an editor representing French publishing house Gallimard, explains the French law that strictly regulates book prices:
For years now, the marketing of books in France has been regulated according to a system of fixed prices. What are your experiences concerning this?

Yes, it is, and this system is extremely important to us. Actually, the government recently emphasized the importance of this law, which was passed in 1981. So this system has been working for the last 28 years. In short, the law we’re talking about basically regulates how the book market works. Without this law, a whole network of independent bookstores wouldn’t be able to survive. As of 1981, there isn’t any difference in price between, say, a book sold by large chains like Fnac and one found in small, independently owned bookstores. Thanks to this system of fixed prices, French publishing has kept its diversity.

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