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Will the federal government reduce the price gap on books?

During yesterday’s federal budget announcement, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty introduced legislation intended to reduce the gap between Canadian and U.S. retail prices.

The legislation will not result in immediate price reductions for books, but it does give the Competition Bureau power to investigate price discrepancies that aren’t the result of higher operating costs in Canada.

In February 2013, a Senate report on consumer price gaps examined the publishing industry. One of its four concluding recommendations is that Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore should study the effects of “reducing the 10 per cent markup that Canadian exclusive distributors can add to the U.S. list price of American books imported into Canada, adjusted for the exchange rate.”