Following a years-long dispute, HarperCollins has agreed to donate $150,000 worth of books (print and digital) as part of a settlement reached with Canada’s Competition Bureau. The settlement follows allegations the publisher colluded with other corporations including Apple Inc., Hachette, MacMillan, and Simon & Schuster to fix ebook prices by entering into distribution agreements with individual retailers.
In Jan. 2017, Canada’s commissioner of competition filed an application to stop “anti-competitive conduct” by HarperCollins that resulted in higher ebook prices and less competitive pricing for consumers. Agreements with Apple and the other publishers were reached last year, with HarperCollins being the only holdout.
In a statement, John Pecman, commissioner of competition, says he expects the consent agreement, which brings ongoing litigation by the commissioner against HarperCollins to an end, “will result in greater competition in the marketplace by enabling retailers to offer discounts on ebooks.”