The Fair Trade Commission concluded Friday that the current fixed-price system for copyrighted items such as books, newspapers and CDs should continue.
Under the price maintenance system, publishers and producers set wholesale and retail prices and force sellers to keep those prices.
While the FTC maintains its stance that the price maintenance system should be abandoned to promote competition, it concluded that the system should be maintained until a national consensus over its abolition is reached.
Although the Anti-Monopoly Law prohibits the price maintenance system in principle, the law, revised in 1953, made exceptions for copyrighted items through the rationale that it is important to promote culture. The price maintenance system applies to books, magazines, newspapers, records, music tapes and music CDs.
In March 1998, the commission said the fixed price system should eventually be abandoned to facilitate competition in distribution and in the market. The FTC has since examined the issue. to decide whether to revise the Anti-Monopoly Law.
In collecting public opinion on the issue, the commission heard industry concerns about possible negative effects of abolishing the current system, including limiting diversity and damaging the newspaper delivery system, which may lead to the infringement of people’s access to information. , the official said.
Certain sectors voiced fear that only popular items would occupy bookstore shelves, forcing less popular but valuable publications to disappear. Later on Friday, the publishing, music and newspaper industries issued statements saying for the maintenance of the fixed-price system is appropriate.
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