Publishing firms face huge fines

Norway’s state competition authority warned several of Norway’s leading book publishing companies on Thursday that they collectively face a whopping NOK 502 million in fines. They’re accused of illegally sharing competitvely sensitive information and thereby influencing the price of books. Gyldendal faces the largest fine of NOK 202.4 million (around USD 22 million), followed by […]

‘Several’ charged in attack on publisher

Norway’s state police unit Kripos has charged “several” people in connection with the attempted assassination of William Nygaard in 1993. Nygaard headed Oslo publishing firm Aschehoug at the time and the attack was tied to Nygaard’s decision to publish a Norwegian version of Salman Rushdie’s book Satanic Verses. That made Nygaard a target following a fatwa (death […]

Publishing firms fined for collusion

Norway’s four largest publishing companies (Aschehoug, Cappelen Damm, Gyldendal and the former Schibsted Forlag) have been fined NOK 32 million (USD 3.8 million) for what state competition authorities call “illegal cooperation.”  State officials at Konkurransetilsynet claimed that the publishing firms broke Norway’s competition law by “collectively boycotting” distributor Interpress, and sharing competitively sensitive information. Interpress […]

Publishers resign from international group in protest

Norway’s publishers’ association (Den norske Forleggerforening) announced on Tuesday that it would resign as a member of  the Geneva-based International Publishers Association (IPA), in protest over the IPA’s decision to grant membership to publishers’ associations in China and Saudi Arabia. The Norwegian publishers noted that the IPA’s own “Freedom to Publish” committee had supported membership for publisher associations in […]

Publishers hit in competition probe

The Norwegian Competition Authority (Konkurransetilsynet) raided several of the country’s largest publishing houses in an unannounced swoop on Tuesday morning. The authority was investigating a possible breach of competition laws, based on claims of refusal to deliver books to grocery and convenience stores. Authority staff visited Aschehoug, Gyldendal, Cappelen Damm and Schibsted, reported newspaper Aftenposten. “We […]

Short shelf life for new book law

There were lots of books under Norwegian Christmas trees again this year, even though book prices in the country remain the highest in the world. A new book law that would have continued protecting the industry from price competition has had a short shelf life in the current government, but consumers can’t expect much immediate relief. […]

Bankrupt bookstores get new owner

Notabene, one of Norway’s largest chains of bookstores, is being formally taken over by a new company that’s wholly owned by DNB, the country’s biggest bank and Notabene’s major creditor. The chain filed for bankruptcy last week, six years after its founders sold a majority stake to an investment fund. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported […]

Knausgård struggles with his fame

Author Karl Ove Knausgård has been a media darling in Norway since his series of novels hit the market last year. Rarely have any books received such adulation from commentators and critics, but now their collective and provocative title — Min Kamp (My struggle) — may be taking on new meaning for the author himself. […]

Closing the book on an encyclopedia

Norway’s Store norske leksikon, the country’s equivalent of Encyclopedia Britannica, faced its final chapter unless the state came to its aid. It didn’t, and now the online version will disappear this summer because the two publishing firms behind the venerable Norwegian encyclopedia say they’ve simply lost too much money on it. The Store norske leksikon […]