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Apple and publishers offer deal to put price fixing scandal behind them in EU

Apple and publishers offer deal to put price fixing scandal behind them in EU
Terrence O'Brien
Terrence O'Brien|@TerrenceOBrien|August 31, 2012 10:36 AM

In the US, the e-book price fixing scandal appears to be winding towards its inevitable conclusion. Many of the publishers settled with the DOJ right off the bat, and now the states themselves have gotten three publishing houses to cough up $69 million in their own agreement. (Of course, Apple, Macmillan and Penguin have all decided to go the trial route, but we'll have to wait till next year to see how that plays out.) In Europe, the battle is still raging on, but Reuters is reporting that the accused are offering concessions in a bid to put the antitrust allegations behind them. The only name missing from the list is Penguin, which may or may not be part of the plea deal. Not all the details of the proposals have been revealed yet, and there's no guarantee the commission will accept them. The heart of the settlement, however, would involve allowing Amazon to sell e-books at a discounted price for two years. Would cheaper Kindle books be good, clean fun for the whole family? Sure, but it certainly pales in comparison to the potential penalties if Apple and their publishing partners go to trial.

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