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Commitments ensure competition on the Danish book market

18. June 2008

Journal nr. 4/0120-0389-0025/MES/LKA/JEM

On 18 June 2008, the Danish Competition Council (”DCC”) decided to make several commitments from the Danish Publishers Association (DPA) and the Danish Booksellers Association (DBA) concerning the trading on the Danish book market legally binding.

Since 1956 publishers have been allowed to fix retail prices for books due to an exemption from the Competition Act. In 2006 the DCC adopted a decision which limited the exemption to fix book prices. In accordance with the decision only 10 % of a publisher’s new publications can now be sold with a fixed book price and only for a period of the year of publication plus five months.

As a result of the DCC decision in 2006, DPA and DBA made an adjustment of their conditions concerning the trading between the publishers and the booksellers.

The DCC found that some of the stipulations raised concerns as they did not take sufficiently regard to the limitation of the book-price exemption. In order to comply with the concerns of the DCC, DPA and DBA have submitted a set of commitments.

The main commitments ensure:

  • no stipulations of a minimum discount to booksellers
  • no stipulations about the total amount of unsold books that booksellers are entitled to return to the publishers (in relation to books with fixed prices, the booksellers are entitled to return 10 % of unsold books to the publishers)
  • no stipulations of a fixed interest that publishers can charge booksellers in case of overdue payment.

The commitments have ensured that the regulations concerning the trading on the Danish book market are in accordance with the DCC decision in 2006. The DCC therefore adopted a decision whereby the commitments are made binding until 31 December 2010.