Reuters: Apple, Amazon e-book battle in EU nearing a conclusion

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Reuters: Apple, Amazon e-book battle in EU nearing a conclusion

Source have told Reuters that EU regulators are going to accept an offer by Apple and four publishers to end antitrust investigations into their e-book pricing schemes. This result essentially cedes a victory to Amazon, which will be able to sell online books for less than its competitors.

Apple, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Hachette Livre, and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck apparently made their proposal in September. They'll let retailers set their own prices and/or discounts for two years, and will suspend controversial "most-favored nations" clauses for five years. "Most-favored nations" clauses prevent publishers from making deals with competitors like Amazon to sell e-books for less than what Apple will charge.

While the European Commission hasn't publicly commented on the proposed settlement, it's likely to accept the offer and make an announcement in December.

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