It looks like the European Union will approve the merger between Random House and Penguin. This is big news, but there is even bigger news for libraries.
The Huffington Post reported today that Penguin Group has informed The Associated Press that libraries can now offer their ebooks as soon as the hardcover version is released. This policy is basically the one that Random House was using for libraries. This is a huge win for libraries.
Penguin used to offer their ebooks to libraries, but they decided to stop selling ebooks to libraries back in February 2012. We mentioned back in October of last year that it would be great if Penguin adopted Random House’s ebook policy for libraries. Well it looks like that’s what they just did today.
Of course, we still don’t know if they will be charging similar prices for their library ebooks as Random House is. Random House currently sells ebooks to libraries at two to three times the retail price. It’s probably safe to assume Penguin will charge similar prices for their ebooks.
The change in policy is still great news for libraries. They can now offer all Penguin and Random House ebooks on the same day that the hardcover is released.