Pearson-REDgroup deal to be investigated by the ACCC
The Bookseller reports that the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) is putting together a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), asking for an investigation into Pearson’s acquisition of REDgroup online. ABA is concerned that the deal will reduce competition and give an advantage to books published by Pearson, which also owns Penguin. BOOKSELLER+PUBLISHER quotes several Australian bookshop managers, and their reactions are mixed.
Amazon-Book Depository deal
Amazon’s planned acquisition of The Book Depository has hit the mainstream media. So far, the word from TBD is that it’s business as usual. That would make sense because the deal isn’t in the bag yet. (It’s still subject to regulatory approval.)
Here are some things I’ve gleaned that may be of interest to readers (and if I got anything wrong please feel free to correct me!):
- No one seems to know how much Amazon paid for the deal.
- TBD was started by ex-Amazon people.
- TBD can offer free shipping because of a deal with Royal Mail, in which TBD uses unused cargo space. This is why they send books individually, which also tend to arrive separately. (This SMH article briefly describes the way it works in Australia. Basically, the post office bears the cost.) No one is sure if this will continue when the Amazon deal goes through.
- TBD gets subsidies from the government, which helps keeps prices down. Again, whether or not this continues under Amazon, remains to be seen.
- Online bookshops are not subject to the same restrictions as bricks and mortar shops when it comes to parallel import restrictions. Essentially, every order from an online bookshop is considered a special order.
Reader’s feast closing within a month
BOOKSELLER+PUBLISHER reports that Reader’s Feast in Melbourne, which is owned by REDgroup Retail and has been operating for twenty years, will be closing in a few weeks. Store manager Mary Dalmau has expressed interest in starting a new and related business.