CD-Wow to pay £41m to British record companies

Martin Brinkmann
May 30, 2007
Updated • Jun 27, 2013
Music and Video

CD-Wow is an online CD, DVD and games shop that operates from Hong Kong. They ship free of charge worldwide and offer some of the lowest prices in the business. They achieve this by (legally) buying the media in countries like Hong Kong and selling them to Europeans and Americans who are happy to pay a lower price for the media while still being able to enjoy the English versions of a CD, DVD or game.

CD-Wow has been the third largest online CD retailer in Great Britain in 2005 after Amazon and Play. The companies that produce the media sure love globalization when it means that they can produce their goods in a country like China for a fraction of the costs that it would cost them in a European country or in America, but they do not like it when consumers try to do the same.

The High-Court has now ordered Hong Kong-based CD-Wow to pay £37m plus interest to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

As soon as "consumers" wants to benefit from globalization as well, by buying goods in countries where they are available for a fraction of the costs, rights-holders, companies and lobbyists cry out loud and turn to the courts or politics to block this from happening.

Back to CD-Wow: "The High Court in London ruled in March that the site's owners, Music Trading Online, were "in substantial breach" of a 2004 agreement to stop importing CDs. It is vital that all retailers compete on a level playing field. Illegal imports threaten that level playing field and threaten British jobs.

Everton from Connected Internet puts it this way: "Basically, what they are saying is that it is ok for companies to artificially keep music prices high, and that anyone who finds a way to offer a cheaper price to consumers will be put out of business."

Does this only sound like a price-fixing agreement to me or do you feel the same? It basically means that consumers have to pay higher prices for CDs and other media because we (the companies) agreed on it.


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