Spain cuts tax on electronic books

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The Independent Culture

Spain's culture chiefs on Wednesday announced plans to slash value-added tax on electronic books to the same low level as traditional paper tomes.

The culture ministry said in a statement the tax would be lowered from 16 percent to four percent on the electronic devices, as the battle hots up between rival companies to capture the fledgling market.

Antonio Maria Avila, head of the federation of Spanish editors, told El Pais newspaper the move was "the fruit of a long struggle" by the publishing industry.

Several companies have now launched electronic books. Online retail giant began selling an international version of its Kindle machine in October.

Its rivals include Sony's electronic book, the Iliad device produced by Irex, and Bookeen's Cybook.