Ottawa, Ontario – In a sure sign of the power of a government oversight, four large book publishing companies have stopped the practice of preventing retailers from offering discounts on digital print books known as Ebooks. The practice was previously enacted by Mcmillan, Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins to protect profits. The practice wasn’t removed out of any enlightenment experienced by the book sellers. Rather, it was the Competition Bureau which prodded them to end the price fixing measure.
“This agreement should benefit Canadian consumers by lowering the price of ebooks in Canada,” said Competition Commissioner John Pecman.
“Businesses operating in the digital economy must realize that anti-competitive activity will not be tolerated, whether it occurs in the physical world or the digital one.”
It is believed that the practice had resulted in Ebook prices being inflated by as much as 20%. The decision by the four aforementioned publishers, responsible for many of the books being published, capped a 1.5 year investigation by the Competition Bureau. It isn’t clear just how much of a resistance the publishers put up about ending the anti-competitive practice since similar practices were ended in the United States last year. Following the move, US Ebook prices declined by 20% making a similar price reduction in Canada a reasonable assumption.
As per the bureau’s federal commissioner, John Pecman, the decision will clearly benefit Canadians. Currently 15% or roughly one in seven books sold in Canada is in digital format. The commissioner made it clear that such price fixing measures will not be tolerated.
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Ebook prices in Canada to fall after new deal enacted, Competition Bureau says