Three major publishers have signed an agreement with Canadian competition authorities that will permit retailers to sell the ebooks they publish at a discount — a practice limited in some of their contracts.
Publishers Holtzbrinck (doing business as Macmillan), Simon & Schuster, and Hachette signed the agreement with the Competition Bureau, as has Apple, an ebook retailer.
A previous agreement involving the three publishers and HarperCollins was rescinded by the Competition Tribunal last June after two years of litigation with Kobo — an ebook retailer spun off from Indigo Books & Music — challenging the 2014 deal.
The Competition Tribunal’s ruling last year provided clarity for what future arrangements should include.
HarperCollins did not sign the new agreement, and the Competition Bureau said it has filed an application with the Competition Tribunal to stop its the company’s alleged anti-competitive conduct.
The bureau alleges that an agreement between HarperCollins, its competitors and Apple was anti-competitive and led to higher prices for Canadians.