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EC nearing settlement with Apple in e-book anti-trust case

06 Nov 2012
Ipad Mini with Smart Cover IOS 6

European Commission (EC) officials have decided to accept a settlement in the Apple e-Book anti-trust case, according to reports.

The decision would close the lid on a lengthy probe into Apple's e-Book pricing strategy in Europe. Apple, along with publishers Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Hachette Livre, Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck were accused of colluding to lower e-book prices in Apple's favour.

According to Reuters, the official settlement will be announced sometime next month.

Apple was accused of allowing certain publishers to set their own prices on e-books over a two-year period. If the accusations were true, Apple would have been taking part in illegal corporate collusion. 

The exact details of the settlement were not identified. However, if the settlement is similar to the one made in the US earlier this year the e-book makers will be forced to allow retailers to set their own prices on the electronics books they sell.

EC officials recently asked e-book industry members for feedback in the case, regarding the possible repercussions of a potential Apple settlement.

In a related case, EC officials are also looking into whether France and Luxembourg have given unfair tax breaks to e-book publishers who sold their wares in country.

It has been another headline making year for Apple. The company has faced a variety of patent infringement cases in 2012. Apple also recently unveiled its new iPad Mini earlier this year.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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