Canada's Competition Bureau has given the green light for Chapters Inc. to merge with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. so long as they sell certain properties and adhere to a specific Code of Conduct. "We are pleased that this process is behind us and we can now move forward and achieve the synergies which exist," said Chapters CEO Heather Reisman.
Chapters would have to sell certain large format stores, certain mall stores, some online assets and their interest in some or all of the "Classic Books," "Prospero" and "Smithbooks" trade names in order to merge with former rival, Indigo. In addition to these qualifications, Chapters must adopt a Code of Conduct that governs certain aspects of its relationship with publishers in order to go ahead with the merger. The Association of Canadian Publishers applauded the decision and is particularly pleased with the inclusion of a "Code of Conduct." "The Code of Conduct is essential for the industry...it will go a long way to redressing some of the problems that have been plaguing the industry including unmanageable rates of returns and lengthy delays in the payments of accounts," Michael Harrison, president of the ACP said. "We anticipate the resolution of this issue will bring some much needed stability to the industry," he added.