5 Jan 2011

Price discrimination in the EU

Note the perforated tear strip for removing the price when this product (a wallet) is sold in Belgium, France and Luxembourg. The Dutch and Germans, OTOH, probably love to see that they are paying less than their neighbors. I wonder about all of the cultural and social implications of that one euro difference.


  1. Is that price discrimination, or is the cost of doing business higher in those countries (and thus retail prices must be higher in order to make the same margin)?

    Having never been to any of those countries I have no idea how they compare in terms of rent, labor costs, regulatory expenses, etc.

  2. Very interesting given those 5 are the founding members of the EU. Definitely a pre-existing cultural divide and definitely discrimination and not costs. (writing from the UK).

  3. Couldn't it just be some sort of sales tax that is levied in BE, FR, and LU but not in NL or DE? I've never lived in any of those countries but in Norway sales tax was always included on the price tag, rather than added at the register like it is in the US.

  4. Sort of like buying books in Canada...

  5. The Economist wrote on similar issues in on/off-line commerce within the EU recently: "(The EU’s services directive) forbids “discrimination” against consumers in different countries, except where differences are justified by “objective criteria”. How these should be interpreted and enforced is a matter for individual countries." Interesting read...http://www.economist.com/node/17361454


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