EU antitrust authorities' investigation of the so-called agency model for pricing ebooks (which was orchestrated by Apple and the major publishing firms) seems to be gaining new momentum with several visits on publishers this week, according to the Wall Street Journal.
European Union antitrust authorities raided several publishers in Europe Tuesday, searching for evidence that they had acted illegally to keep prices high in the nascent electronic-book market.
The EU's interest dovetails with ongoing investigations by authorities in the U.K., California and Texas into the arrangements that publishers make to sell digital books.
But the involvement by Brussels adds new weight. The EU regulator is widely considered the world's most powerful, and it has the power to levy giant fines against companies that break its rules.
-WSJ, March 2, 2011