Penguin promises EU regulator to scrap Apple e-book deals

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - European Union regulators accepted on Thursday a pledge by British media group Pearson's Penguin unit to scrap its e-book deals with Apple which set price curbs on Amazon and other retailers, closing an antitrust case against the company.

Penguin offered in April to end "most-favoured nation"contracts for five years. Such clauses bar rival retailers from selling e-books more cheaply than Apple. It also proposed to let retailers set prices or discounts for a period of two years. The concessions are similar to those offered by four other publishers last year.

The European Commission said the publishers' offer would boost the e-book market.

"After our decision of December 2012, the commitments are now legally binding on Apple and all five publishers including Penguin, restoring a competitive environment in the market for e-books," European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.