Frankfurt Book Fair admits defeat over London expo
May 12, 2006, 15:40 GMT
Frankfurt - The organizers of the Frankfurt Book Fair admitted defeat Friday in a competition to host a book expo next April in London, but said they would seek ways to sue the Earls Court exhibition ground.
On May 5, the Germans shocked the book publishing world by announcing they planned to hold a 2007 spring book fair in central London, in a direct challenge to the London Book Fair set to take place in spring in a remote part of London, the Docklands.
On Thursday, it was the Germans' turn for a shock when they were deserted by their London fairground operator EC&O Venues, which leased the space and the April 16-18 slot to a rival company, Reed Exhibitions, to hold the London Book Fair.
The Boersenverein booksellers and publishers federation of Germany had hoped to control both the Frankfurt and London fairs through its fair-organizing arm.
Earls Court and Olympia Venues was unrepentant, saying it never had a signed agreement with the Frankfurt agency.
Juergen Boos, chief executive of the Frankfurt Book Fair, said Friday a verbal agreement had been breached and lawyers would study possible legal sanctions. It would be impossible to proceed with Frankfurt's plan.
Taking a positive view, he said the outcome was a good one for the industry in that London's spring fair would be held in central London and not at the unpopular Docklands venue.
'Our Frankfurt concept has been completely adopted,' Boos said.
The Boersenverein subsidiary is organizing a book fair in Cape Town in June and the main fair in Frankfurt October 4-8.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur