All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

EC confirms Apple settlement over e-books price fixing charge

13 Dec 2012
Apple iBooks screenshot

The European Commission (EC) has accepted a settlement proposed by Apple and four other book publishers, which will see the EC drop the threat of antitrust action over their e-book pricing practices.

Under the settlement, the publishers will abandon the 'most-favoured customer' pact with Apple. Under that agreement, if publishers sold an e-book at a lower price than it was listed on Apple's iBookstore, they had to offer the title to Apple at the lower price.

“This clause may seem benign at first sight. But it effectively made it very costly for publishers to allow other retailers to sell at lower prices than Apple since that low price would then have to be extended to Apple's store,” said Joaquin Almunia, EC vice president.

The publishers concerned are Hachette Livre, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan. The EC is still in discussions with Pearsons over a possible settlement.

Although the settlement had been expected, it will come as a boost to online retailer Amazon. 

Amazon, thanks to its long history of selling books online and through the introduction of its Kindle e-readers, quickly established itself as the dominant force in e-books.

Under the latest settlement, the publishers will find their ability to set the prices of their e-books all but wiped out. They have also agreed not to enter into any 'most-favoured customer' pacts again for the next five years.

Concerns over e-book price fixing are not restricted to Europe. The US Department of Justice accused Apple and five other publishers of conspiring to fix prices earlier this year, while Australian regulators have also been investigating.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
More on Law
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

IT curriculum poll

With coding now compulsory in schools, how important are digital skills for the next generation of school leavers?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
V3 Security Summit

V3 Security Summit Day 2: Botnet, skills and BYOD intelligence incoming

Keep V3 bookmarked for news updates on all the key security concerns and topics facing businesses

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging


Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

Technology Manager - Online

COMPANY BACKGROUND delta tre has been established...

IT Helpdesk Supervisor

An excellent opportunity has arisen for an individual...

IT Support Manager

IT Support Manager Established for over sixteen...

2nd Line Technical Support Engineer

A 2 nd line technical engineer is required by an expanding...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.