The Office of Fair Trading in the UK is investigating eBook pricing and the relationships between publishers and retailers after getting complaints.
The Independent has more: “The regulator did not name any of the parties affected by the inquiry, but is investigating whether any of the industry deals were anti-competitive and could affect trade in the UK. The investigation will be led by Andrew Groves, deputy director of the OFT. The issue focuses on publishers’ ability to set e-book prices using the ‘agency’ pricing model, which has been held responsible for stifling competition.”
When Amazon first launched its Kindle store in the UK in August, the retailer did not allow an agency model. But in September some publishers began moving to an agency model, which Amazon openly critiqued in a letter to consumers posted on its site.