Competition Bureau reaches settlement with HarperCollins in ebooks case

News Release

January 9, 2018 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau announced today that it has reached an agreement with publisher HarperCollins which the Commissioner expects will restore retail price competition for ebooks in Canada. This agreement follows a Bureau investigation that concluded an anti‑competitive arrangement between HarperCollins, competing publishers and Apple ultimately led to higher prices for Canadian consumers.

The consent agreement with HarperCollins follows similar settlements reached with Hachette, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Apple in January 2017 to resolve competition concerns related to their conduct in the market for ebooks. As part of the terms of the consent agreement, HarperCollins will also make a $150,000 charitable donation in ebooks and print books to promote reading in Canada.

The consent agreement with HarperCollins has been registered with the Competition Tribunal and its implementation is pending the resolution of Kobo’s challenge of the January 2017 agreements.

Today’s consent agreement also ends the Commissioner of Competition’s ongoing litigation against HarperCollins at the Competition Tribunal.


Quotes

“I am pleased that we were able to settle our ongoing litigation with HarperCollins. I expect that today’s consent agreement will result in greater competition in the marketplace by enabling retailers to offer discounts on ebooks, which will directly benefit Canadian consumers.”

John Pecman,
Commissioner of Competition

Quick Facts

  • The Commissioner concluded that the publishers entered into distribution agreements with individual ebook retailers that prevented them from offering discounts on ebooks.

  • The Commissioner is committed to promoting competition and innovation in a rapidly evolving digital economy that is redefining the way Canadians consume goods and services.

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