Originally Posted by HarryT
Goods are priced differently for different markets, and many publishers do print cheap editions of books for markets like India and, presumably, Thailand, too. If these "grey imports" were permitted (they have long been ruled to be illegal in the EU) the result would be that the publisher would stop printing these editions, and it would be poor countries that would suffer as a result.
The publishers (international, publicly held ones) cannot stop printing these editions. They are compelled by shareholders to seek growth; growth will not come from the US or the EU. Management knows they will be out if they abandon growth markets. They would adjust, and continue printing and selling, if forced to. To avoid that, they will continue to pay government officials.
If any big publisher did stop selling in China, India, Thailand...competition would quickly take their place, with the help of the local government. They each know this. None of the publishers have anything that matters that cannot quickly be replaced or gotten another way. It's not like India will collapse if the only Tom Clancy available are bootleg copies.
The EU and its member States, just like the US, has a long, sordid history of protecting the interests of its corporations at the expense of its citizenry.