Publisher claims Asda has not paid invoices
Publisher Bloomsbury has cancelled an order to supply 500,000 copies of the final Harry Potter instalment to grocer Asda, following a dispute over pricing.

Bloomsbury said it had taken the decision because of 'invoicing issues', claiming it has not been paid by the chain. However, Asda has rubbished the claims and said it is in talks with its legal team about addressing the order cancellation.

The decision follows a statement, released by the supermarket chain yesterday, which slammed the publisher 'for attempting to hold children to ransom by hiking up the RRP [£17.99] on the final Harry Potter instalment'.

The news will come as a serious blow to the retailer, as Asda director of general merchandise Peter Pritchard said recently: 'When we launch our price next week we will be the lowest in the land and will have the enough books to prove that this is not a just a gimmick.'

However, Bloomsbury marketing director Minna Fry said: 'Asda has had a problem with our pricing of Harry Potter for a while now and it sent out a very aggressive press release saying that we were ripping off children. We think at 608 pages,£17.99 is extremely good value.'

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, the final instalment in the seven book series, is due to go on sale this Saturday. However, many retailers are planning to open at midnight on Friday to satisfy demand.