Amazon Stock Rises Premarket After EU Closes Antitrust Probe Into E-Books
04 May, 2017, 16:50
As well as price, the MFN clauses covered other aspects a competitor might use to differentiate itself, such as an alternative business model, features of e-books, or promotion.
"Today's decision will open the way for publishers and competitors to develop innovative services for e-books, increasing choice and competition to the benefit of European consumers", EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. In January, Amazon suggested a number of changes it would make to its contracts, and the European Union now says it's happy to accept them, bringing a close to the investigation.
Amazon's offer to remove its controversial "Most Favoured Nation" (MFN) clauses from its e-book contracts has been accepted and made legally binding by the European Commission, in a development described by the Publishers Association as "a welcome step forward". "We want to ensure fair competition in Europe's e-books market worth more than 1 billion euros".
Amazon made its offer of concessions in January.
The EU said Thursday that Amazon had bowed to its demands and agreed to drop clauses requiring e-book publishers to disclose information about their deals with the United States retail giant's rivals.
The commitments from Amazon will be valid for a period of five years, and the company said it was pleased to have reached an agreement with the Commission.
The Commission is also probing Amazon over its arrangement with Luxembourg to minimize its tax bill, part of a crackdown on such deals in the 28-country bloc.