Feeds

EU antitrust bigwig offers Apple, publishers ebook truce

But only if sacrifices are made

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The EU is willing to consider settling its differences with ebook publishers and Apple if they're willing to make some sacrifices, the European Commission's antitrust chief said.

The commission is in the midst of an investigation into whether Apple colluded with five major publishing houses to fix prices for digital books in an attempt to rescue the book sector and sock it to Amazon - at the expense of customers.

European Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia told Reuters and others that the "possibility of a settlement is only open" if publishers are ready to address "all our objections".

The investigation is important to regulators “because the ebooks market is growing very fast and we have an interest to avoid collusive practices”, Almunia added, according to Bloomberg.

The heat is on Apple and the publishers as they face the EU investigation, a class-action lawsuit in the US and threats of further court action by the US Justice Department.

Almunia said that EU regulators were coordinating with US counterparts on probing the pricing deals between Apple and publishers, which shifted the book market from a wholesale to an agency pricing model. If the companies can't settle with the commission and avoid admitting any wrongdoing, they face a fine of up to ten per cent of their global sales.

The publishers in the soup with Apple are Harper Collins, Hachette Livre, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Macmillan. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.