Israel: Bookstore fined for unfair publisher deals

Top Israel bookstore chain Steimatzky has been issued a fine three years after regulators launched an investigation into the company’s alleged anticompetitive agreements with publishers.

Reports say Steimatzky and its CEO have been forced to pay nearly $435,000 regarding the chain’s requirement that publishers offer exclusive product deals; the requirements went against previous agreements struck when the chain merged with another rival in 1995, reports say.

The Antitrust Authority first launched a probe into the alleged anticompetitive behavior in 2011 to examine two incidents in which the company barred publishers from offering their books at discounted prices at rival bookstores, and when Steimatzky demanded publishers to offer discounts when they were offered to competing bookstores.

The deals betrayed the chain’s agreement not to limit publisher relationships with competing chains when it merged with Sifri in 1995, according to reports.

Full content: Haaretz

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