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EU Ends Antitrust Probe, Apple and Publishers Agree to Let Retailers Set e-book Prices

EU Ends Antitrust Probe, Apple and Publishers Agree to Let Retailers Set e-book Prices

A European Union antitrust probe into Apple and four major publishers came to an official end on Thursday, as regulators accepted a deal from the involved parties.

AppleInsider:

Apple and four major publishers have agreed to ease pricing restrictions on retailers, such as online e-book seller Amazon.com, for two years. As a result, the EU has ended its antitrust investigation, according to Reuters.

Amazon looks to be the biggest winner in the settlement, as they will now be able to set prices for e-books as it sees fit. Apple and publishers had joined together to use the “agency model,” allowing the publishers to set their own prices on the iBookstore with Apple taking a 30 percent cut of sales.

The publishers then blocked Amazon and other retailers from selling their e-books unless they also adopted the agency model. Publishers felt Amazon’s business model was lowering e-book prices unfairly.

The deal allows the involved parties to avoid fines that could have reached as high as 10% of their global sales.

Apple is joined by Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillan in the settlement, however Penguin, which remains under investigation, is not included, but has offered its own concessions.

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