Digital Fixation: The Law and Economics of a Fixed e-Book Price

Authors: Joost Poort (Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam) and Nico van Eijk (Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam)

Abstract
Fifteen countries in the OECD, ten of which EU members, have regulation for fixing the price of printed books. At least eight of these have extended such regulation to e-books. This article investigates the cultural and economic arguments as well as the legal context concerning a fixed price for e-books and deals with the question of how the arguments for and against RPM for e-books should be weighted in the light of the evidence. It concludes that while the evidence in defence of a fixed price for printed books is slim at best, the case for a fixed price for e-books is weaker still while the legal acceptability within EU law is disputable. Against this background, introducing a fixed price for e-books is ill-advised.

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