Posted: 1/27/2010 12:16:00 PM
Author: Ben Hartman
Source: This article originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post on Jan. 27, 2010.
New bill proposal would reduce discounts on books
by Ben Hartman
Measure does not place limits on the discounts retailers pass on to the public.
Two MKs on Tuesday presented the Knesset with a bill that would limit the discounts book retailers can demand from publishers, in order to cut down on what they say are aggressive price wars among retailers that harm the ability of authors to earn an income and of publishing houses to stay in business.
The measure, sponsored by MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) and Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat (Likud), does not place limits on the discounts retailers pass on to the public.
Two book chains dominate the industry - Steimatzky and Tzomet Sfarim - both of which have offered heavy discounts in recent years, in particular Tzomet Sfarim, with it's four-books-for-NIS 100 deal.
The Antitrust Authority is expected to oppose the bill, mainly with the argument that it would raise the cost to consumers.
The Antitrust Authority has also argued that price wars and stiff competition between retailers has lowered prices and encouraged greater sales of Hebrew books.