Apple and four publishers agree to terminate ‘agency’ sales model in Europe

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Apple and four major book publishers have agreed to terminate their existing agreement for selling ebooks at higher prices as part of the ongoing European Union antitrust investigation into ebook sales practices. Under the new settlement, the “agency” agreement between Apple and publishers is abolished; instead, retailers are free to set the price of ebooks anywhere they choose over the next two years, provided that the value of the discounts offered does not exceed the value of the sales commissions the retailer receives from the publisher. Additionally, the clauses built into ebook sales contracts that prevented publishers from having their books sold for less than they were sold by Apple have also been done away with for at least the…

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