“Apple Inc and four major publishers have offered to let retailers such as Amazon sell e-books at a discount, in a bid to end an EU antitrust investigation, the European Commission said on Wednesday,” Foo Yun Chee reports for Reuters.

“EU regulators have been investigating Apple’s e-book pricing deals with Simon & Schuster, News Corp unit HarperCollins, French group Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Livre, Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, which owns Macmillan in Germany, and Pearson Plc’s Penguin group,” Chee reports. “Apple and the publishers, with the exception of Penguin, have offered to settle with the Commission, which began its inquiry last December.”

Chee reports, “‘For a period of two years, the four publishers will not restrict, limit or impede e-book retailers’ ability to set, alter or reduce retail prices for e-books and/or to offer discounts or promotions,’ the European Commission said in its Official Journal, detailing the offer under consideration… The Commission said the publishers and Apple also offered to suspend ‘most-favoured nation’ contracts for five years. Such clauses barred publishers from deals with rival retailers to sell e-books at prices lower than those set by Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

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