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Penguin Kills eBook Deal with Apple to Avoid Antitrust Penalties

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EU antitrust regulators stated on Friday that British media group Pearson's Penguin unit has offered to scrap e-book deals with Apple that imposed price restrictions on Amazon and other retailers. Penguin's concessions include ending "most-favoured nation" contracts for five years. Such clauses bar rival retailers from selling e-books more cheaply than Apple.

The concessions, if accepted by the European Commission, would make Penguin the fifth book publisher to settle with regulators, ending a 16-month long investigation without any finding of wrongdoing or fine.


Regulators were concerned such pricing deals could hold back development of the e-book market, with higher prices for consumers. Amazon has the biggest share of that market.


Apple and publishers Simon & Schuster, News Corp unit HarperCollins, Lagardere SCA's Hachette Livre and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, the owner of Germany's Macmillan, reached a settlement with the Commission in December.


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