U.S. online retailer Amazon has offered to alter its e-book contracts with publishers in a bid to end an EU antitrust probe and stave off a possible fine, the European Commission said on Tuesday.
Amazon, the biggest e-book distributor in Europe, proposed to drop some clauses in its contracts so publishers will not be forced to give it terms as good as those for rivals, the Commission said.
Such clauses relate to business models, release dates, catalogs of e-books, features of e-books, promotions, agency prices, agency commissions and wholesale prices.
The Commission opened an investigation into the company’s e-books in English and German in June 2015, concerned that such parity clauses make it harder for other e-book retailers to compete with Amazon by developing new and innovative products and services.
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Amazon said it was pleased with the agreement but disagreed with the Commission’s preliminary assessment, saying that e-books are not a separate market as they compete directly with print books and other forms of media.
Amazon’s offer, if accepted, would apply in Europe for five years.
Link to the rest at Reuters