Apple EU concession

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The Independent Online

Apple and four major publishers are believed to have offered to allow retailers such as Amazon to sell e-books at a discount for two years in an attempt to end an EU antitrust investigation and stave off possible fines.

The EU antitrust watchdog opened an investigation into Apple's e-book pricing deals with the publishers last December, saying these may hamper competition in Europe.

Simon & Schuster, News Corp's HarperCollins, Lagardere's Hachette Livre and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, which owns Macmillan in Germany, have agreed deals to sell online versions of their books at set prices on iTunes, with Apple taking 30 per cent of the proceeds.