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New York Times Editorial Favors Sales Tax Fairness

In a March 26 editorial, the New York Times expressed its support for federal legislation that would ensure sales tax fairness. Congress is reviewing a bill that would require companies conducting more than $1 million in Internet sales to collect sales tax from customers in any states they sell into.

The Times commented on the great strides being made in the struggle for sales tax fairness, but recognized that bricks-and-mortar stores are far from winning the battle – the stores are still the underdogs, not being exempt from the new tax law because of the proportion of sales that come through storefronts. “As a political concession to win swift passage, however, the exemption is acceptable as long as lawmakers commit to continued efforts to level the playing field. Fairness demands nothing less,” the Times wrote.

Free Subscription for Booksellers to ForeWord Reviews

ABA bookseller members are eligible to receive a free subscription to ForeWord Reviews magazine. The quarterly print publication reviews titles from independent publishers, features opinion pieces, and reports on trends in literature.

Visit the ForeWord reviews website to learn more about the magazine, and click here to sign up for your free subscription.

European Union to Approve Penguin, Random House Merger

The proposed merger of Pearson’s Penguin with Bertelsmann’s Random House is likely to be approved by European antitrust regulators, Reuters reported. Bertelsmann will own 53 percent of the company, and Pearson 47 percent. The agreement is expected to come through, without condition, on April 5.

The United States, Australia, and New Zealand have also approved the merger, which was announced in October 2012.

France Budgets for Bookstore Assistance

French Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti has announced that a fund of €5m will be made available to the country’s bookstores seeking loans to relieve economic strain, The Bookseller reported. The move is part of France’s plan to sustain its network of bookstores, as the government works to ensure that it “never suffers the same fate as the United States,” according to Filippetti. The organization that subsidizes bookstores, ADELC, will have its budget raised from €4m to €7m. Paris Librairies, which helps customers find what stores carry the book they are seeking, has already received government funding to continue its work.

An “independent book industry mediator” is also being assigned to handle any disagreements that may arise, including any violations on the laws on fixed print book prices and e-book prices.