Amazon’s e-book business is facing an antitrust investigation in Europe, where the European Commission says the company’s contracts with publishers contain “clauses which seem to shield Amazon from competition from other e-book distributors.”
These clauses give Amazon “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,” the EC said in its announcement today.
“The Commission will now investigate further whether such clauses may hinder the level playing field and potentially decrease competition between different e-book distributors to the detriment of consumers,” it said. The clauses “may make it more difficult for other e-book distributors to compete with Amazon by developing new and innovative products and services,” the commission said.
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