Canadian retailers will be able to offer discounts on ebooks by three major publishers

News Release

Competition Bureau takes fourth publisher HarperCollins to the Competition Tribunal

January 20, 2017 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau announced today that it has taken action to restore retail price competition for ebooks in Canada.

The Commissioner of Competition commended Apple and three major publishers — Hachette, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster — for entering into consent agreements to resolve his concerns related to these companies’ conduct in the markets for ebooks. As a result, Canadian retailers including Amazon and Kobo will be able to offer discounts on ebooks by these publishers.

As no agreement has been reached with a fourth publisher, HarperCollins, the Commissioner has filed an application with the Competition Tribunal for an order to stop its alleged anti‑competitive conduct.

The Bureau’s investigation concluded that an anti‑competitive arrangement between HarperCollins, its competitors and Apple ultimately led to higher prices for Canadian consumers.

Quick Facts

  • HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster publish many bestselling ebooks in Canada.
  • Registration of the consent agreements with Apple, Hachette, MacMillan and Simon & Schuster with the Competition Tribunal today gives them the force of a court order.
  • Today’s announcement follows two years of litigation related to Kobo’s challenge of a previous consent agreement. That agreement was rescinded by the Competition Tribunal in June 2016.


"This case is about protecting Canadian consumers and ensuring a competitive and innovative digital economy. I commend Apple, Hachette, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster for entering into consent agreements that resolve my concerns related to their conduct. As no agreement was reached with HarperCollins, I am taking action today to address its ongoing restrictions on competition in Canada."

John Pecman,
Commissioner of Competition

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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

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