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  • European Commission Begins its Antitrust Investigation into Amazon's E-Book Business

    The European Commission recently began its antitrust investigation into Amazon’s e-book business, addressing concerns regarding the company’s unfair use of publisher deals to under competition. The antitrust investigation is one that mirrors earlier cases brought against Apple. According to an official statement, Amazon is allegedly using the “most favored nation” clauses in contracts, requiring publishers to disclose terms offered to competitors and/or offer Amazon equal or better ones. The organization said the following regarding the matter:

    The Commission will investigate whether such clauses may limit competition between different e-book distributors and may reduce choice for consumers.
    As of right now, the probe is concentrating on the English and German language e-book markets considering they are the biggest in Europe. From there, it is likely to move on to smaller markets over time.

    For those of you who didn’t know, in 2013, Apple lost an antitrust lawsuit brought against it by the US government. A judge claimed that the company conspired with publishers to sell e-books on an agency pricing model, granting the iBooks Store “most favored nation” status in an effort to fight against Amazon’s then-standard $10. As of right now, Apple is still dealing with the aftermath of the case including rules on the contracts that it can sign and more infamously, having to deal with the controversial antitrust monitor, Michael Bromwich.

    We’ll have to see what happens in the antitrust investigation against Amazon and more importantly what effect this has on the e-book market.

    Source: European Commission (Press Release)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: European Commission Begins its Antitrust Investigation into Amazon's E-Book Business started by Akshay Masand View original post