Ebook publishing deal being negotiated
Apple's antitrust case with the European Union over e-book publishing could be settled in a couple of months.
European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said he hoped to sort out an investigation into Apple and four publishers price fixing on e-books. The European Commission is testing an offer by Apple and the publishers in a bid to end the EU probe.
The four involved are Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Livre, and Macmillan. A fifth publisher, Penguin, was also charged in the investigation, but is not participating in the settlement with the commission, which began its inquiry last December.
The deal on the table is that for two years, the four publishers will not restrict, limit or impede e-book retailers' ability to set, alter or reduce retail prices for e-books and/or to offer discounts or promotions. HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Hachette reached a settlement with the U.S. government in April with similar proposals.