Amazon finally opens Dutch website

The American online store Amazon has finally arrived in the Netherlands. From Wednesday e-books and Kindle e-readers will be available from their Dutch site.

According to Amazon management, the product range primarily consists of more than 20 thousand Dutch e-books, in addition to a catalog of over 3 million books in other languages. The apps and e-readers from Amazon will also be available in the Dutch language.

The internet giant hopes to distinguish themselves mainly with its devices and the features of its apps. Amazon does not expect to make a big difference on the price of e-books. "In most cases the price of a book is determined by the publisher or author", says Jorrit van der Meulen, head of the Amazon hardware department.

This puts Amazon in a rather different position in the Netherlands than in other countries, where the pricing policy of the online store has repeatedly led to quarrel with publishers. In the United states Amazon is currently at odds with the major publisher Hachette about the price of e-books.

According to Ezequiel Szafir, head of Amazon Europe, the talks with publishers in the Netherlands have gone smoothly. In his words the Dutch book world is modern "and has embraced digital publishing early compared to other countries. So were ready and responded well." Szafir says that they worked together with all the major publishers and mos bestsellers can be found on Amazon.

Amazon will be selling three different e-readers. The entry-level model of the Kindle will cost 59 euros. The Paperwhite, which has lighting behind the screen, will temporarily cost 109 euro and will then be sold for 129 euro. The Kindle Voyage, a model with a higher resolution screen, will be on sale for 189 euro. The e-readers will still be sent to the Netherlands from abroad and the price may vary slightly, depending from which country the product is ordered.

Books purchased from Amazon can only be read on Kindles and Kindle apps for iOS, Android and Windows. Dutch e-book sellers have generally switched to selling books without copy protection, which can be read on any device without restrictions. The books are only protected from piracy with a watermark.

It is still unclear whether the other parts of Amazon, such as the sale of physical goods and digital films, will eventually be available in the Netherlands.

Asked whether the launch of the Dutch Kindle Sore must be seen as the first step on the Dutch market, Van der Meulen only says that "it is a big step".