The Commission invites comments from interested parties on commitments offered by Penguin (Pearson Group, United Kingdom) to remedy the Commission’s concerns that Penguin may have engaged in an anti-competitive practice affecting the sale of e-books in the EEA. The Commission is concerned that Penguin, together with four other publishers and Apple may have breached EU antitrust rules prohibiting cartels and restrictive practices by jointly switching the sale of e-books from a wholesale model to agency contracts containing the same key terms. Agency model allows publishers to use more control over retail prices. According to the Commission, this switch may have been the result of collusion between competing publishers, with the help of Apple, and may have aimed at raising retail prices of e-books in the EEA or preventing the emergence of lower prices. To remedy the Commission’s concerns, Penguin offers to terminate existing agency agreements and refrain from adopting price MFN (Most-Favored-Nation) clauses for five years. In case Penguin would enter into new agency agreements, retailers would be free to set the retail price of e-books during a two-year period, provided that the aggregate value of price discounts granted by retailers does not exceed the total annual amount of the commissions that the retailer receives from the publisher. If the market test is positive, the Commission may adopt a decision making the commitments legally binding on Penguin. The other four publishers and Apple offered substantially the same commitments as Penguin is offering now already earlier and those commitments were made legally binding in December 2012. Comments on the proposed commitments may be submitted by 18 May 2013. Source: Commission Press Release 19/4/2013