Publishers threaten Asda over NBA

Publishers are threatening to take legal action against Asda if it continues to violate the Net Book Agreement by discounting books in its supermarkets.

The publishers, whose titles Asda has been selling at a £1 discount, are Transworld, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Harper Collins, Pan, Little Brown and Arrow Paperbacks. It is understood that they have taken legal advice, and that they will be sending solicitors’ letters asking Asda to cease discounting. If the retailer continues to discount, then the publishers will seek an injunction to force them to stop.

Penguin UK managing director Trevor Glover says: “All the publishers concerned who are in the NBA will be taking action to prevent this happening. If we have to apply for an injunction, we will get one.”

The NBA allows publishers to set retail prices for selected books. Most publishers use the agreement to protect the prices of their mainstream titles, but not specialist ranges, such as school books.

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