Canada's Competition Bureau has reached an agreement with four major ebook publishers that is expected to lower the price of ebooks in Canada. In the United States in 2012 and 2013, similar settlements resulted in lower prices for ebooks. US settlements reportedly showed discounts of 20% and even higher on some bestselling ebooks.
Following an 18-month investigation into the Canadian ebook industry, the Bureau signed a consent agreement four publishers: Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster.
According to the Competition Bureau, Canadian consumers will benefit from the agreement registered with Competition Tribunal, in that the Bureau expects that competition among retailers will increase, resulting in lower prices for ebooks.
The four publishers have agreed to remove or amend clauses in their distribution agreements with individual ebook retailers that the Bureau believes have the effect of restricting retail price competition, which will allow retailers to offer discounts on ebooks.
"This agreement should benefit Canadian consumers by lowering the price of ebooks in Canada. 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." says John Pecman, Commissioner of Canadian Competition Bureau.