Penguin promises EU regulator to scrap Apple e-book deals

library reading copley square boston public library books
The settlement ends an antitrust case. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

EU regulators accepted on Thursday a pledge by British media group Pearson’s Penguin unit to scrap its e-book deals with Apple, which set price curbs on Amazon and other retailers, closing an antitrust case against the company.

Penguin offerd in April to end “most-favored nation” contracts for five years. Such clauses bar rival retailers from selling e-books more cheaply than Apple.

It also proposed to let retailers set prices or discounts for a period of two years. The concessions are similar to those offered by four other publishers last year.

The European Commission said the publishers’ offer would boost the e-book market.

“After our decision of December 2012, the commitments are now legally binding on Apple and all five publishers including Penguin, restoring a competitive environment in the market for e-books,” European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.


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