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With a wave of its magic wand – which probably has a smiley face at the end of it – Wal-Mart’s Asda Group in the UK announced that it will be selling “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and last book in the popular series, for just five pounds – or just under ten dollars in US currency. Customers can only buy two copies at a time.

The announcement comes at the end of a week during which at one point it looked like Asda might not even have the book to sell.

Asda had to apologize to Bloomsbury, the UK publisher of the Harry Potter novels, for accusations it made saying that the company was “blatantly profiteering” by raising the prices of the Potter novels with each successive title. Bloomsbury had canceled all shipments of the Potter novel to Asda in the wake of the “blatant profiteering” accusation, though it said it did so because Asda wasn’t paying its bills.

The Asda price cut – which puts the price well below the more than eight pounds wholesale price of the novel – throws down the challenge to main competitor Tesco, which was selling it below wholesale … though not that far below wholesale.
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