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EU antitrust regulators to accept Apple's offer to Amazon over ebooks

Lets Amazon undercut other retailers
Wed Nov 07 2012, 15:41
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ONLINE RETAILER Amazon is set to celebrate a victory over Apple and four other book publishers as European Union (EU) regulators said they will accept offers to ease price restrictions.

Amazon had been trying to sell ebooks cheaper than its rivals, claiming that such a move would increase its revenue and customer numbers, however Apple and four other publishers had offered retailers set the prices or discounts for two years and to suspend "most-favoured nation" contracts for five years. According to Reuters' sources, the EU regulators have accepted the publishers' concessions, meaning that Amazon can undercut rivals.

Reuters reports that the EU will accept the offer put forward by Apple and the other publishers and will announce its decision in December. The EU's investigation has been running alongside a similar one being conducted by the US Department of Justice, in which Apple and the book publishers Penguin and Macmillian have yet to settle.

Officially the EU's investigation, which started in December, is still underway with Antoine Colombani, a spokesman for competition policy at the European Commission said, "We have launched a market test in September and our investigation is still ongoing."

Firms that break the EU's competition rules can be fined up to 10 percent of their global sales, a power that was applied to sanction Intel for its part in anticompetitive activities against AMD. µ


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