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Old 03-04-2012, 06:18 AM   #1
ShellShock
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Kobo UK discount coupons and publisher pricing

I keep getting money off emails (30% this weekend) from Kobo (UK), with a long list of publishers with whom the discount cannot be used. Sure enough, whichever book I try to buy, the coupon cannot be used because of publisher restrictions, so effectively the coupon is useless. I believe this is because of "agency pricing". Can someone please remind me of the legal status of this practice, in the UK/EU? Is it being challenged? Is there somewhere I can go to constructively express my frustration at this anti-competitive practice, and hopefully help to get it banned, or at least get awareness raised?
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:38 AM   #2
HarryT
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The European Commission is currently investigating eBook pricing. As it stands, though, the practice is not illegal.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:01 AM   #3
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Thanks, at least it is being investigated. Is it true that it is not illegal though? Is it more that it may be illegal, bit it has not been tested in the courts yet?
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:10 AM   #4
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Agency pricing arrangements are certainly not illegal (eg most car dealerships are agencies). What's being investigated is whether publishers have acted jointly to fix prices as a cartel. That would be illegal.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShellShock View Post
I keep getting money off emails (30% this weekend) from Kobo (UK), with a long list of publishers with whom the discount cannot be used. Sure enough, whichever book I try to buy, the coupon cannot be used because of publisher restrictions, so effectively the coupon is useless. I believe this is because of "agency pricing"
I suppose it depends on what you read but I am able to make good use of the Kobo coupons. Sure, there are lots of exceptions -- but lots of "mainstream" stuff is eligible, at least in Canada.
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