The price of French books in Switzerland: Pascal Vandenberghe evokes a “stage victory” –

The price of French books in Switzerland: Pascal Vandenberghe evokes a “stage victory” –

The Competition Commission (Comco) has opened an investigation against the French publishing group Madrigall. It will examine whether it unlawfully restricts the possibility of Swiss bookstores to obtain supplies in France under better conditions. For Pascal Vandenberghe, director of Payot, this is the first victory.

The Payot group filed a lawsuit in September against Madrigall, the parent company of Gallimard, Flammarion or Casterman, for abuse of relative market power, Comco recalled in a statement published on Tuesday. He reproached him for preventing the Swiss bookstores from acquiring books in France at the price of the French market and under the usual French conditions.

>> Read again: The director of Payota files a complaint about the increase in the price of books

As part of the investigation, “Comco will examine whether Madrigall really has relative market power vis-à-vis the whistleblower and whether the company behaved in an offensive manner within the meaning of the law on cartels”, specifies the commission.

>> Report at 19:30:

The Commission for the Protection of Market Competition opens an investigation against the Madrigall Group, the French publishing giant / 19:30 / 2 min. / today at 19:30 h.

“There will be an impact on the selling price”

Tuesday’s guest at 7:30 p.m., boss Payota therefore had a smile. “It’s the first stage of victory (…) four months after the complaint, we have a position taken by Comco that is relevant in the proceedings, so that’s a good sign,” he explains.

“We have a purchase price that is 40% to 50% higher than if we had bought directly in France,” recalls Pascal Vandenberghe. According to him, this injustice should be corrected and ultimately benefit the customers in Switzerland. “It is obvious that if we can benefit from lower purchase prices, we will transfer that to the selling price,” he specifies.

For example, Michel Houellebecq’s latest book, “Anéantir,” which currently sells for 26 euros in France and around 40 francs in Switzerland, could eventually drop to 35 or 36 francs, explains Pascal Vandenberghe. The difference, which is still relatively significant, is explained by the costs, which are not the same in Switzerland.

As for the risk of angering the major publishers, the director assumes, as he reckons, that he has the law on his side. “The law aims to measure the strength of the powerful and the weakest. And in this game, it is clear that Payot is the weakest,” he concludes.


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