The Competition Authority recently indicated that it has high hopes of increased competition in the e-book market as a result of the government's recent decision against fixed prices for e-books and the development of a digital platform on which publishers and sellers will cooperate to store and distribute e-books. The European Commission and the US Department of Justice, however, have each opened a formal investigation into the sale of e-books.

According to the authority, competition in the Dutch e-books market has lagged behind because, among other things, book sellers are inclined to adhere to the retail price recommended by publishers. In addition, there is a limited supply of Dutch e-books. The digital platform to be developed by publishers and sellers is likely to remedy the problem of limited supply and thus will have a pro-competitive effect - particularly since the authority has been assured that access to the platform will be on objective, transparent and non-discriminatory terms.

For further information on this topic please contact Jolling De Pree or Erik H Pijnacker Hordijk at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek by telephone (+31 70 328 53 28), fax (+31 70 328 53 25) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]).