Watchdog: Book Discounts Narrowed Social Gaps

As competition between book retailers intensified, social gaps narrowed, says the Antitrust Authority. Tomorrow it will present the conclusions of a study to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation.The panel is debating two bills, that would limit the reductions bookstores could demand from publishers, and possibly set maximum levels for discounts to consumers.

The Antitrust Authority's study is based on figures for spending for books, not including textbooks, by socioeconomic status.

In 2003 the wealthiest 20% of the population spent an average of NIS 44.30 per month for books, which rose 12% to NIS 49.40 in 2007.

In contrast, the poorest 20% of Israelis saw their spending on books rise from NIS 6.60 a month in 2003 to NIS 16.40 in 2007, a 148% increase.

Book prices plummeted in Israel over that period due to competition. The study's conclusion says the result was that books became available to all.