Apple & Four Publishers Reach eBook Settlement In Europe

Apple and four publishers have agreed to change their eBook pricing models in a move to settle an investigation in Europe. Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Livre, and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, which owns Macmillan in Germany, have agreed to settle with the European Commission to shake allegations of eBook price fixing.

Under the terms of the settlement, “Each of the Four Publishers and Apple will terminate the agency agreements for the sale of e-books in the EEA concluded between each of the Four Publishers and Apple,” said the EU in its Official Journal. Here is more from the statement:

For a period of two years, the Four Publishers will not restrict, limit or impede e-book retailers’ ability to set, alter or reduce retail prices for e-books and/or to offer discounts or promotions. However, asregards agency agreements, the aggregate value of the price discounts or promotions offered by any retailer should not exceed the aggregate amount equal to the total commissions the publisher pays tothat retailer over a 12-month period in connection with the sale of its e-books to consumers.

Pearson’s Penguin Group has not agreed to settlement terms and remains under investigation by the European Commission.