It seems that as of November 1st Canon has decided to more strictly enforce its MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) policy. What this means is that any dealer who wishes to remain a Canon authorized dealer cannot advertise any Canon product for a price lower than that set by Canon. MAP schemes are legal. They are not a Minimum Retail Price scheme. A dealer can still sell a Canon product for less than the Minimum Advertised Price, they just cannot advertise that price. MAP programs are not "price fixing" and are allowed by law, though exactly what consitutes "advertising" in the context of minimum ADVERTISED price is still open to question and may depend on the exact wording of the MAP agreement between Canon and the dealer.
It remains to be seen what effect this will have on Canon prices, but the probability is that that they will increase from prices before November 1st. Canon has always has a MAP but has not generally enforced it. Dealers can still sell items at whatever price they want, they just can't advertise that price. How they "get the word out" also remains to be seen. They could advertise a price of $399.99 but charge only $349.99 when you complete the checkout pricess. How you find out if that will happen is the question. Dealers could also not give a price and use the "add item to shopping cart to see price" scheme. Whether Canon would (or legally could) object to these practices remains to be seen.
If I know that a particular dealer is doing that, I can tell you here on this website, however if the dealer tells me and I tell you I'm not sure if Canon would regard that as an effort by the dealer to break their MAP agreement with Canon. As far as I know there is little case law on that point. I have run such pointers to deals in the past and I'll continue to do so since I have no MAP agreement with Canon!
Why is Canon doing this? I'm not sure but presumably it's to benefit them, not the consumer. I understand that Nikon have been doing it for some time. Canon probably does't actually make more money since any MAP agreement doesn't make any difference to the price the dealer has to pay Canon for the equipment. It may prevent "devaluation" of products (i.e. if they are widely sold for less than Canon think they are worth). It probably does benefit smaller dealers who don't have the sales volume of the major retail stores and so need a larger profit margin per sale to stay in business. In doing so it's an attempt to "level the playing field" for retailers. Companies have argued in the past that this is a benefit to the consumer since it supports stores who actually give customer service rather than exist only as internet marketing sites. This of course doesn't address the wishes of those who would rather have a lower price than better customer service. It's also by no means certain that internet retailers like Amazon, Adorama and B&H give customer service that's worse than the average small retailer selling items for a higher price.
So I'll keep you up to date with the situation and as always I'll post any special deals that I find at the top of the Home Page on this website. I'm sure the Canon deals will be out there, they'll just be harder to find.