Posted by MICHAEL KIMMELMAN to NYT > Arts.
I called Rafael Corazza, director of the Competition Commission, to ask what he was thinking. “It’s not normal for one market to have special regulations,” he explained. “It was a cartel. The German and Swiss booksellers said it was for a good purpose — they made a cultural argument, but we are an economic commission. They said the system fosters a broader, deeper market for books, that discounting will hurt the small booksellers who support the small publishers, and then you will have fewer books and more focus on best sellers.”
Are they right? I asked.
“I’m not quite sure they’re completely wrong,” he said. “Nobody knows for sure yet. But nobody can read one million titles, so the question is, is it better that more people read fewer books or that fewer people read a lot of different books?”