EU opens ebooks investigation of Apple and five publishers
December 6, 2011 | 10:23 am
By Paul Biba
From The Inquirer
Apple and five publishers will be investigated by the European Union (EU) over anti-competitive practices in the ebook market.
The European Commission (EC) will investigate Apple, Hachette Livre, Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck, focusing on alleged illegal agreements restricting competition in the EU.
The Commission is also examining the character and terms of the agency agreements entered into by the five publishers and retailers for the sale of ebooks.
The EC said in a statement, “The opening of proceedings means that the Commission will treat the case as a matter of priority. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.” It added, “The Commission has concerns, that these practices may breach EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices (Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – TFEU).