Switzerland adopts legislation on fixed book prices

On 18 March 2011, the Swiss Parliament adopted a Fixed Book Price Act. The Act, which also applies to online book sales, requires, in particular, the publisher or importer to set the final retail price of books it publishes in, or imports into, Switzerland, retailers being then compelled to resell the books at the price so determined. As the Act is currently subject to optional referendum, the Swiss Federal Competition Commission (FCC) decided, on 24 March 2011, to temporarily suspend the investigation it had opened in parallel to the legislative process. The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether the distributors and marketers of French-language books in Switzerland hold a dominant position and, if so, whether they set their prices at an excessively high level.


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