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1.1 Market definition

In the school and university book market, a book (textbook, textbook or textbook) is a written document - which is not necessarily published exclusively in printed form - containing thoughts, ideas and information stored in a single textbook, referring to a branch of study, and used in school or university for educational purposes.

In France, textbooks are freely chosen and selected by each school or university on the basis of the guidelines of a national curriculum. In addition, the french association of publishers which has approximately 670 member publishing houses in France, acts as an unofficial accreditation institution to control, support and promote intellectual property, insofar as french legislation can only prohibit textbooks if it is contrary to morality.  

It should be noted that this market is defined as an imperfect market It does not meet the rigorous criteria of a perfectly competitive market . It is different from other common consumer markets for two main economic reasons

  1. Teachers, professors and teachers replace their students (real end consumers) in the choice of textbooks.
  2. As a result, publishers have significant market power to set prices (potentially higher than in a competitive market).

In addition, highly vertical integration and concentration in the market - with few large companies with a high market share - reduces competition and potentially increases prices

In addition, the school and university book market is confronted with the second-hand book market (the sales process is carried out either from students to students, or from students to wholesalers or online sales platforms, with a significant discount on the price) It is also confronted with rental programs, since new editions are generally published several years apart and do not offer any significant improvements in terms of content. New editions are usually published to stimulate demand and prices by offering bundles, i.e. by offering additional items in addition to the manual (such as CDs).

Finally, electronic textbooks and e-books - supported by French digitisation policies - aimed at increasing and diversifying the learning curve of students, capture a secondary share of demand. They are cheaper to buy even if penetration seems low in France (around 1% in 2014) due to fixed selling prices.





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