The European Union has reportedly warmed to the idea of accepting Apple's proposed settlement relating to an ongoing antitrust probe that has become a costly mess for the Cupertino, California-based tech giant.
Apple, Simon & Schuster, News Corp. unit HarperCollins, and other entangled publishing parties initially made the proposal in September, as the partners looked to end the investigation into alleged eBook price fixing and manipulation.
As of now, it looks like European Union regulators "are to accept an offer by Apple and four publishers to end an antitrust probe into their e-book prices," two sources tell Reuters on Tuesday.
Apple and the publishers have offered to let retailers set their own prices or discounts for a period of two years, and also to suspend "most-favored nation" contracts for five years, the sources said. Such clauses bar publishers from making deals with rival retailers to sell e-books more cheaply than Apple.
"The Commission is likely to accept the offer and announce its decision next month," the source says.