Apple, Book Publishers May Settle EU Investigation in One Month
September 20, 2012 8:07 AM
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Apple and the four publishers offered to let Amazon and other retailers sell e-books at a reduced price for two years
Apple and the four major book publishers under the EU microscope have officially
offered a solution
to their e-book troubles: allow Amazon and other e-tailers to sell e-books at a discount.
This proposal was originally brought up back in August, where Apple and publishers Harper Collins (News Corp., USA), Simon & Schuster (CBS Corp., USA), Hachette Livre (Lagardère Publishing France) and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck (owner of inter alia Macmillan, Germany) attempted to settle the investigation by the European Commission. Penguin, the fifth book publisher involved in the case, did not submit a settlement proposal.
The proposal is that the publishers will not restrict or limit an e-book sellers' ability to set, change or reduce e-book prices for two years. They also won't interfere with an e-book retailer's choice to offer discounts.
In addition, Apple and the publishers have agreed to suspend "most favored nation" contracts for five years, which stopped publishers from allowing other e-book sellers, like Amazon, sell e-books at lower prices than Apple.
The Commission said it is considering the settlement proposal offered by Apple and the four publishers. It will now allow third parties to offer their opinions, and in one month, the Commission will decide to either end the investigation or continue.
While the EU investigation may soon come to a close, the same can't be said for the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation into the same issue. DOJ sued Apple and the same five publishers in April 2012, and soon after three publishers made settlement deals with the government (Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster and Hachette Livre).
Apple, Penguin and Macmillan, on the other hand, will duke it out with the DOJ at the
U.S. bench trial on June 3, 2013
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So what happens in two and five years?
9/20/2012 12:34:29 PM
So consumers are get overcharged again in 2 or 5 years? How does this deal make one bit of sense, unless the EU commission is getting some fines out of it. Why would anyone think it was acceptable for them to go back to the way it was in 5 years?
“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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