HarperCollins Settles Canadian eBook Price-Fixing Dispute, Gets a Slap on the Wrist

Last January the Canadian Competition Bureau announced that it had reached a settlement with Apple and three of the major Canadian publishers for their role in any alleged conspiracy to raise ebook prices in Canada.

The publishers had to give up price controls for 9 months, and they as well as Apple had to forgo the MFN clause until 2020. All in all, the settlement was little more than a slap on the wrist that would have little impact on the ebook market.

The one publisher who didn’t agree to the settlement last year was HarperCollins. They dragged their feet and only agreed to the settlement this past week.

From CDC News:

The Competition Bureau says it has reached an agreement with publisher HarperCollins, which the agency expects will restore retail price competition for ebooks in Canada.

The outcome follows a bureau investigation that concluded an anti-competitive arrangement between HarperCollins and other ebook retailers led to higher prices for Canadian consumers.

The implementation of the publisher’s consent agreement is pending the resolution of Kobo’s challenge of the January 2017 agreements.

As part of the terms of the agreement, HarperCollins will also make a $150,000 charitable donation in ebooks and print books to promote reading in Canada.

I went and found the settlement agreement on the CCB’s website. The terms are essentially the same as what Apple, Hachette, Macmillan, and S&S agrred to last spring.

HarperCollins has to give up price controls for 9 months, and they had to give up the MFN for 3 years.

It is a slap on the wrist.

image by ActuaLitté


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

1 Comment

  1. davemich14 January, 2018

    Especially since the donated books are likely to be remainders, and any donated ebooks carry no cost and pay no royalties.


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