Penguin seeks to settle EU e-book antitrust probe

AP News
Posted: Apr 19, 2013 11:59 AM

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's antitrust watchdog says publisher Penguin has offered to forgo a deal with Apple on the sale of e-books in a bid to end an antitrust investigation.

The EU Commission, the 27-nation bloc's competition watchdog, launched proceedings in 2011 alleging that Apple and five publishers had agreed to fix the price of e-books ahead of the first iPad launch. All of the parties involved but Penguin agreed on a settlement with the Commission late last year.

The Commission said Friday Penguin, owned by Britain's Pearson PLC, is now proposing "substantially the same" settlement — which allowed Amazon and other retailers to resume discounting the publisher's titles in Europe.

Penguin is set to merge with Bertelsmann AG's publisher Random House, a deal recently cleared by the Commission.