The VLB is the reference database for fixed shop prices in Germany and Austria

In June 2011, the VLB received the status of price reference database for all fixed prices in Germany. Since 1 December 2014, the database has assumed this mandate for Austria as well. VLB thus forms the basis for book prices in Germany and Austria.

In Germany, the status as the universally valid reference database for the fixed shop prices of all available German books since June 2011 is regulated in the Marketing Regulations for the Book Trade of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, which was expanded to include a corresponding provision.

With the change of the marketing regulations, the prices indicated by the publishing houses in the VLB are the generally valid prices. As early as April 2010, the industry parliament had recommended that the VLB be established as a binding reference database for book prices for all industry participants. This was due to the partial spread of non-uniform and incorrect prices in the market and associated warnings. In accordance with the Book Price Fixing Act, publishing houses set the price of a book and are obligated to publish it. By notifying the VLB of the fixed shop price, the publication duty is fulfilled.

You will find important questions and answers on the VLB as a reference database in an FAQ document of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association.

To facilitate compliance with the fixed shop prices, the VLB supplies its subscribers with the price reference export free of charge. Request the additional activation of the price reference export directly here.

Decision confirms VLB as sole reference database in Germany

A decision of the District Court of Dortmund confirms the role of the VLB as the only valid source for fixed prices in the book trade. The booksellers’ cooperative eBuch had filed a complaint against clothing chain KIK. Reference prices of the VLB would also have to apply if they had come about erroneously, since otherwise no valid prices would be ascertainable. The District Court of Dortmund had followed this and had decided that the current price indication in the VLB had overriding, binding status in all cases.

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The VLB is the price reference database for Austria

In Austria, too, the VLB is the price reference database for the fixed shop prices of books and e-books.

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