Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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EC makes removal of Amazon’s ‘Most Favoured Nation’ ebook clause legally binding

The European Commission has accepted Amazon’s offer to remove its ‘Most Favoured Nation’ clauses from ebook contracts, which had required publishers to give Amazon either similar or better terms to those of its rivals and to inform Amazon of those terms, reports the Bookseller.

The removal of the clauses is now legally binding. Amazon first offered to remove the clauses in January 2017 during an antitrust investigation into its distribution of ebooks and relationships with publishers, which was launched in 2015.

The UK Publishing Association and Booksellers Association said the decision was ‘a welcome step forward’, but that more work should be done to ensure fair competition in print and digital markets.

The Booksellers Association’s head of corporate affairs Giles Clifton said it was ‘disappointed’ that the EC had taken 20 months to reach the decision. ‘For a small commercial competitor of Amazon, the damage has already been done, and is difficult if not impossible to retrospectively make right,’ said Clifton. He added: ‘The BA complaint was by no means limited to the ebook market but covered the far larger, and more important, print book market. We renew our calls for the appropriate competition authority to look at this.’


Category: International news