Canada Axes ‘Agency’ Ebook Pricing

shutterstock_111308513After an 18-month investigation, Canadian regulators concluded that the ebook retailing practices of four of the Big Five publishers violated the country’s Competition Act. Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins and Macmillan have all signed agreements limiting the pricing terms they can set in deals with distributors.

The new settlement parallels those reached in the United States after the Department of Justice successfully sued to eliminate the “agency” pricing model in 2012. Among other restrictions, the publishers can no longer include “most favored nation” clauses in retailer contracts that prevent competitors from setting lower prices.

Since the 2012 ruling, ebook prices have steadily fallen in the U.S., and it’s now more likely they’ll do the same in Canada.


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The rest of the day’s top news:

Publishers Accuse Canada of Abusing Fair Use (Pub Lunch)
In a second conflict with Canadian authorities, industry representatives ask the U.S. government to look into ways an exception to fair use restrictions for educational purposes could be cheating rights-holders of revenue.

College Instructors Shifting to Digital Materials (DBW, chart)
A new study finds college students are using digital materials more and traditional print textbooks less.

Apple Labels Kids’ and Teens’ Ebooks by Age Group (Good E Reader)
To help prevent explicit content from reaching young readers, children’s and YA titles in the iBookstore will be marked with an “interest age” specified by authors or publishers.

Amazon Begins Retailing in Brazil (Fox Business)
By offering Kindles directly to consumers for the first time in Brazil, Amazon is confronting the challenge of staking out a successful retail business in the country. For now, though, it’s relying on partners to distribute the devices.

DreamWorks Gets Into Publishing, Too (Pub Lunch)
DreamWorks is the latest entertainment company to begin publishing print and ebooks based on their narrative content in other media. The Jim Henson Company announced similar plans last week.

Nook Pares Staff (Pub Lunch)
More eliminations in Nook’s staff follow from the business’s ongoing tribulations.

Is Xbox Building an E-Reading Platform? (Gotta Be Mobile)
Recent hints arouse speculation that Microsoft has its Xbox team developing an e-reading platform to compete with Kindle amidst uncertainty over the Nook’s future.

WEbooks Returns as a Crowd Publishing Platform (PW)
Originally a tool for connecting authors and agents, the company relaunches as a free-to-access website that publishes books based on ratings by its reader community.

Google Patents E-Reader with Upgraded Display (Tablet News)
The device, which combines e-ink and a camera, will accelerate the screen’s refresh rate and enable keyboard and mouse compatibility.


Editor’s note: In Friday’s edition of the DBW Daily, we wrote that the contents of the Sony ebook store will be transferred to Kobo. This is inaccurate and has been corrected in the story. We regret the error.


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