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HUP Does Not Engage in "Price Discrimination"



I write in response to your article concerning the allegation by the National Association of College Stores (NACS) that Harvard University Press, among numerous others, engages in "dual pricing" or "price discrimination" ("University Press Accused of Price Discrimination," April 1). For the record, Harvard University Press (HUP) has one published discount schedule that is available to every qualified retail account, whether a chain, independent or college bookstore.

The discounts offered on books to all such accounts are linked to the quantities ordered, without regard to the store's self-characterization. If the description of the University of Kansas Press's position as depicted in The Crimson is correct, it different from that of HUP.

We do not have "different rates for different stores" but one published rate for all our retail customers. You should also note one point that is not frequently mentioned in the publicity about the potential action by NACS: Should publishers be forced to increase their discounts to stores--college or other--the result will be higher prices for those books used in courses. This is a scenario we do not favor. --William P. Sisler,   director, Harvard University Press

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