In February, the Commissioner of Competition in Canada told Kobo it had forty days to abandon the agency model. Those forty days were supposed to expire on Wednesday… but on Tuesday, Kobo was granted a Stay while the company puts together its challenge.
Whew. Kobo was desperate for that Stay. In a memo circulated March 10, the company said, “Without a stay, Kobo will be irreparably harmed. Its contracts with four of the largest e-book publishers in Canada will be terminated or fundamentally altered. Kobo — not the Consenting Publishers — will bear the financial losses arising from these changes.”
Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Simon and Schuster signed the contract on February 7 which was supposed to lower ebooks prices by up to 20%, cutting the clauses in their contracts that prohibited discounting.
There’s no accusation of collusion here. Kobo says it “insisted” on the shift to an agency model with one-on-one meetings with publishers. It signed wholesale agreements with publishers, too.
It boils down to this: with ebooks that cheap, Kobo can’t make enough money to keep manufacturing ereaders. B&N is very slowly choosing to be a bookstore rather than an ereader store. Without Kobo in the market in Canada, the …read more

Via: Melville House Books