A new report from Reuters says EU authorities are about to accept a deal with Apple and four book publishers to end the antitrust investigation into whether Apple conspired with the publishers to prevent Amazon from undercutting ebook pricing in Apple’s iBooks bookstore.
The companies originally proposed the settlement in late August, and it would see Amazon go back to its original ebook pricing for two years. By making the deal, Apple and the publishers will be able to put an end to the antitrust investigation and avoid related fines.
Apple, and the four publishers; Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Livre, and Macmillan, made the proposal to the European Commission in September. Penguin group, which is also under investigation, did not take part in the offer.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently came to a similar agreement with at least three publishers. Apple unsuccessfully attempted to delay any settlements until June 2013 when the case is scheduled to go to trial. Reuters says the EU regulators could accept the settlement as early as next month.