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Amazon Said to Weigh EU Settlement in Bid to End E-Books Probe

  • Settlement talks with Amazon and publishers at an early stage
  • EU concerned that Amazon contracts may harm rival retailers

Amazon.com Inc. is in talks with European Union regulators to settle an antitrust probe into how its e-book contracts with publishers may be squeezing out rival distributors, according to people familiar with the case.

Amazon, already the target of an EU investigation into its tax arrangements with Luxembourg, is trying to do a deal with the European Commission that would shut down the year-long e-books probe, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are confidential and at an early stage. Any deal would have to be tested with publishers before it became final, they said.