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European Commission to investigate Amazon ebook practices

The European Commission (EC) has opened a formal investigation into Amazon’s ebook practices, reports the Bookseller. The EC said it will focus on clauses ‘which seem to shield Amazon from competition from other e-book distributors, such as clauses granting it: the right to be informed of more favorable or alternative terms offered to its competitors; and/or the right to terms and conditions at least as good as those offered to its competitors’. EU commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager said in a statement: ‘Amazon has developed a successful business that offers consumers a comprehensive service, including for e-books. Our investigation does not call that into question. However, it is my duty to make sure that Amazon’s arrangements with publishers are not harmful to consumers, by preventing other e-book distributors from innovating and competing effectively with Amazon. Our investigation will show if such concerns are justified.’ Amazon said it would ‘cooperate fully’ with the investigation and was confident its agreements with publishers are ‘legal and in the best interests of readers’. There is no timeline for the completion of the investigation, which will focus in the initial phase on Amazon’s practices for ebooks published in English and German.


Category: International news