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Thursday, 3 February 2011

UK eBook pricing probe...and not before time!

The pricing of eBooks in the UK is now under investigation by the office of fair trading after several allegations of illegal price setting between publishers and retailers.

The competition regulator said it is investigating "arrangements between certain publishers and retailers for the sale of ebooks". The OFT said it had received a significant number of complaints, but the fact that it had opened an investigation did not mean any company had broken competition rules.
The probe is being led by Andrew Groves under the Competition Act of 1998, which looks at conduct which may have a damaging effect on competition in the UK.

The Archive says, "About bloody time."

Here follows the full statement by the OFT:

Case References: CE/9440-11 and CE/9441-11
Start date: January 2011


Following a significant number of complaints, the OFT has opened an investigation into whether arrangements that certain publishers have put in place with some retailers for the sale of e-books may breach competition rules.

The investigation is at an early stage and it should not be assumed that the parties involved have breached competition law.

The Competition Act 1998 prohibits agreements, practices and conduct that may have a damaging effect on competition in the UK. The Chapter I prohibition covers anti-competitive agreements and concerted practices that have the object or effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition in the UK or a part of it and which may affect trade in the UK or a part of it. Its European counterpart, Article 101 of the TFEU, covers equivalent agreements or practices which may affect trade between EU Member States.

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