[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
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.