Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet
Neither am I, so don't take my claims as authority. From what I understand though this is an agreement to ensure book sellers do not have to compete on bestsellers, rather than book publishers.
If I'm wrong though I'll be happy to admit it.
Sorry, I was away for a while ... it happens sometimes, yes ..
From basic Web search (you can cross check ...) the initial Jack Lang said that the selling price (price paid by the customer) of a "brand new" book (don't ask me what is "brand new" in the eBook market ...) should be fixed by the publisher, and stay within the +-5% variation margin.
There are no special provisions applying to bestsellers, and the law is not applicable to second hand market (which, by the way, is also a tricky issue in the ebook market, not really addressed (can your offspring inherit from your ebooks after your death, and pass the "property" (usage, in fact) rights onto another person ???......).
It does not say anything on how the various actors in the added value chain (author, etc ...) come to an agreement on their intermediate pricing scheme.
As usual with any law, there can be exceptions (otherwise it would be too simple ...), but those are limited to books stored for more than six months , etc etc ....
On this basis, as long as the law is satisfied, I see little ground for a possible prosecution on the grounds of a "conspiracy", resulting in increased prices, harming the customer .... just because the price to the customer is fixed !
The law has been passed in 1981, I do not even know if Amazon was existing at that time, even if yes they did not anyway have any presence in France. The idea was to protect the network of local book sellers against possible predatory actions from large companies (FNAC , a large French retail stores chain, was targeted at that time).
Currently, in France, Amazon is now trying to circumvent this law by offering free delivery, and I believe the question has been raised on how to address this (I have to make a complementary search to know what the status is on this secondary issue).
If we talk about eBooks only, the three major options available for a French customer (who mostly prefers to read books in French ...) are the Apple iBook Store, or Amazon, or the FNAC eBook store. (feeling the danger, FNAC tried to market their own Kindle equivalent, until they recently opt for a Kobo tablet (now Japanese group Rakuten property)
Just by curiosity, I tried to buy an eBook on the FNAC Store, and it has been a mess to get rid of the DRM in my Apple-centric environment (I believe I could say the same for Amazon).
So to me, Apple will win this battle for the same reasons it won the battle on music. Not because of price but because people do not want to be bothered by DRM restrictions on things they have legally acquired.
Edited by Hydrogen - 2/27/14 at 9:12am