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Japan: Amazon drops ebook price clause due to antitrust scrutiny

 |  August 16, 2017

A group company within Amazon Japan G.K. has removed a contract clause requiring publishers to market ebooks on Amazon’s website at the lowest price when selling the same products on rival sites, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) said Tuesday.

According to the JFTC, Amazon Services International has revoked the clause requiring that terms match those made with rivals like Rakuten and Apple.

The anti-monopoly watchdog has been concerned that the clause may undermine fair competition and hinder companies from cutting prices and improving services.

Earlier this year, the Japanese unit of Amazon.com removed a “most favored nation” (MFN) clause, a similar contract provision it concluded with product sellers using the Amazon Marketplace online platform, after on-site inspections by the JFTC.

Amazon’s MFN clause for e-book retailers was also seen as problematic in Europe. In May, the company agreed with the European Commission to take measures to improve the situation.

Full Content: Law 360 & Mainichi

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