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EU: Amazon will change its ebook contract to end antitrust probe

 |  May 4, 2017

The European Commission said on Thursday it had accepted commitments by US online retailer Amazon to alter its e-book contracts with publishers to end an EU antitrust investigation.

Amazon, the biggest e-book distributor in Europe, proposed to drop some clauses in its contracts so publishers would not be forced to give it terms as good as those for rivals.

Such clauses relate to business models, release dates, catalogs of e-books, features of e-books, promotions, agency prices, agency commissions and wholesale prices.

Today’s decision will open the way for publishers and competitors to develop innovative services for e-books, increasing choice and competition to the benefit of European consumers,” EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

“We want to ensure fair competition in Europe’s e-books market worth more than 1 billion euros,” she continued.

Amazon said it was pleased to reach an agreement with the Commission.

The Commission opened an investigation into the company’s e-books in English and German in June 2015, concerned that such parity clauses made it harder for other e-book retailers to compete with Amazon by developing new and innovative products and services.

Amazon made its offer of concessions in January. The commitments apply for five years in Europe.

Full Content: The Verge

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