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What is a fixed book price?

A fixed book price is a legal regulation that sets the selling price of books, including printed books and e-books, in each territory or country. The aim of fixed book prices is to promote competition in the book trade, to maintain the diversity of the book supply and to protect the independent book trade.

The main elements of fixed book prices are:

  • Fixed retail price: Under the Fixed Book Price Act, a fixed retail price is set for each book, which all booksellers must adhere to. This means that a book must cost the same no matter where it is sold.
  • Territorial fixed book prices: Fixed book prices can be territorial, i.e. the fixed price applies only in a particular country or region. In some countries fixed book prices apply nationwide, in others they may be limited to certain regions.
  • Exceptions: There are usually some exceptions to fixed book prices, e.g. for self-published books, antiquarian books or books that have been out of print for a long time.

Why do we have fixed book prices?

Fixed book prices serve several purposes. One of the main aims is to promote cultural diversity and access to a wide range of books. It is intended to prevent books from becoming mass-produced products and to limit the book trade to a few bestsellers. Fixed book prices also support the independent book trade by creating a level playing field for all traders and reducing price pressure.
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