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Apple, Publishers End EU Antitrust Probe Over E-Books Prices

Apple Inc., the world’s biggest technology company, and four publishers ended a European Union antitrust investigation after regulators accepted their settlement offer to overhaul pricing for digital books.

Apple and the publishers will drop pricing agreements they struck in 2010 that targeted Inc.’s low e-book prices, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters at a press conference in Brussels today. The deals required the publishers to offer to Apple any price cuts they gave to other retailers. Amazon and other retailers were told they might not be supplied with e-books if they didn’t agree to the new terms.