Showing posts with label OFT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OFT. Show all posts

Monday, 19 December 2011

E-Book News Before Christmas...

As there are sure to be numerous e-readers being unwrapped this Christmas, I hope some of your books are bought to be read on them...

According to some commentators downloading e-books seems to have become a Boxing Day activity...

2010 and into 2011 has seen ups and downs in the e-book world. First the furore over some publishers moving to the 'agency model' for pricing of their e-books-which resulted in temporary unavailability of their books on the websites of Waterstones, The Book Depository and Amazon until agreements were brokered...

Earlier this month the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) announced that they were closing their investigation into e-book sales (and probably also the agency model issue). They began this investigation in January this year, and not long after that the European authorities raided the Euro based offices of some publishers, for their own enquiries into possible competition violations.

You can read my past blog post about this subject at the time here and here.

The OFT have closed their investigation citing "because the OFT believes, following discussions with the European Commission, that the European Commission is currently well placed to arrive at a comprehensive resolution of this matter and will do so as a matter of priority." Read the Bookseller article here.

Perhaps the OFT discovered during the course of their investigations that it was too big an issue to handle by themselves (but that's just my opinion).

If you have the time it is worth reading the article by Juliette Garside from The Observer and Guardian website. Apple's need to avoid drowning in the Amazon ocean has also brought them into the investigation too.

I've certainly noticed a difference in prices for print versions of books compared to digital this Christmas. But whatever the Commission's results,  2012 is certainly going to be an interesting year for digital.

And if you do get an e-reader for Christmas, enjoy. :-)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

More OFT Delays- E-Book Pricing

A couple of post ago I mentioned the news that the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) had delayed announcing the result of their inquiry into the Amazon/ Book Depository merger.

Well, now the investigation into e-book pricing, that was started earlier this year, has also not yet reached a conclusion according to an item on the Bookseller website today.

It's likely that many of the complaints the OFT received relate to the agency model pricing that a few UK publishers adopted for sale of their e-books. This resulted in some publishers telling booksellers the retail price that their e-book formats could be sold for, which certainly annoyed some of the major booksellers.

If you want to remind yourself what all the fuss was about then revisit my blog posts on the subject
starting here, with a piece about the agency model, and the follow up post here.

If you missed the news of the OFT announcing the e-book pricing investigation then see this post.

The e-book market continues to thrive in the UK and publishers are finding out what pricing works for them, but this OFT investigation could upset all of this.

So the evidence is in, now it's just waiting for an answer.

I'm fairly certain that when the OFT does announce the results there will be some very happy people and some angry people. But whether the consumer will be happy or angry I wouldn't like to predict.

I think this issue could go either way...

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Further News re: Amazon and the Book Depository...

The OFT (Office of Fair Trading) has issued an 'invitation to comment' on the acquisition of The Book Depository by Amazon.

Written representations about any competition or public interest issues can be sent to the OFT- details here. This is open for comment until the 18th July. (They apparently expect to have made a decision on referal by the end of August.)

You can read more on the website.

Obviously the 'invitation to comment' does not necessarily guarantee an investigation, but it's part of the process that leads up to it.

This acquisition could take a long time to occur...