Europe Settles E-Book Price-Fixing Case

The European Commission settled its antitrust case against Apple and four book publishing groups over e-book price fixing, in what was described as a victory for the leading online seller, Amazon, and a setback for publishers fighting for the ability to set prices for electronic literature in the digital marketplace. The European Union’s competition commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, said he was ending his office’s investigation after Apple and the publishers — Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Holtzbrinck, the owner of Macmillan — agreed to end their attempt to set prices for e-books through a series of preferred selling agreements.