EC probing e-book publishers

The European Commission is investigating whether e-book publishers owned by Lagardere, Pearson, News Corp and two other firms fixed prices with Apple, blocking rivals and hurting consumers. The decision by the European Commission to open an investigation yesterday followed raids on the companies in March this year. US regulators are also looking into pricing deals imposed under an agency model in which publishers set the retail price. Antitrust rules forbid price-fixing agreements designed to shut out competitors or that could result in consumers paying more.