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Internet Bookseller Files Complaint with EU

[Berlin, GERMANY] The Belgian Internet bookseller Proxis has lodged a complaint to the EU Commission about five German wholesalers. News reports from Tuesday say that Proxis is accusing the wholesalers KNO, Libri, Umbreit, Wehling, and Kvnemann of behavior that is adverse to competition. The wholesalers have apparently refused to deliver German-language books to Proxis.

The EU Commission confirmed that a complaint had been registered. "We're checking it," said a spokeswoman for the EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti. More detailed information was not given. According to news reports, the Belgian company is preparing to expand its activities to the German market, where books are subject to price fixing.

Proxis claims that the price fixing for books that was agreed to between German publishers and the EU Commission does not apply to cross-border trade. According to earlier statements by the EU Commission, since July 1, 2000, books that have been published in Germany, exported to another EU country, and then re-imported into Germany are absolutely not affected by the price fixing.