European Union expected to accept Apple's e-book settlementRegulators with the European Union are reportedly set to accept an offer made by Apple and four book publishers to settle an antitrust investigation.
The deal aims to avoid fines for the companies and will allow retailers that compete with Apple's iBooks namely Amazon to sell e-books for lower prices, according to Reuters.
Apple will be joined by Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillan in the settlement with the European Commission. The settlement was first proposed in September.
The European Commission already announced months ago that it was willing to drop its probe into an alleged price fixing scheme by Apple and the four publishers after they agreed to let Amazon sell the same e-books at discounted prices for a period of two years.
EU flags flying in front of the European Commission's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. | Source: European Commission
First launched in December 2011, the Commission's inquiry was related to Apple's so-called "agency model," which allows book publishers to set the prices for e-books sold in the iBookstore under a most favored nations clause. That meant the houses couldn't sell their product elsewhere for a lower price.
If the investigation were to have found the companies in violation of European antitrust laws, they each faced penalties equaling up to 10 percent of revenue from global sales.
The anticipated settlement is similar to the counterpart price-fixing case in the U.S. leveled by the Department of Justice in which HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Hachette recently settled for $69 million. Apple, Penguin Group and Macmillan continue to fight the allegations, with both companies asking for a court trial to decide the matter.
On Topic: General
- Apple investigating ways to embed health sensors, fingerprint readers, chargers into iPhone logos
- Apple officially recognizes Jony Ive's promotion, adds VP of design bios to leadership webpage
- Apple Maps vehicles project expands to 13 new US states in July
- Greek capital controls put squeeze on iCloud, iTunes, App Store subscriptions
- Photos, iCloud Drive, iMessage, other online Apple services hit by slowdowns & outages [u]