The Most Favored Customer Clause

Séminaire-déjeuner organisé par Concurrences en partenariat avec Allen & Overy et Compass Lexecon.

The Most Favored Customer Clause : After the e-book case


Giulio Federico (DG COMP)

The discussion started off by providing a factual background into the e-Books case. The market had been dominated by Amazon (with the kindle), who adopted a wholesale model charging very low prices, until Apple’s entry on the e-books market in January 2010. Before Apple’s entry into the market print publishers had suffered pressure from Amazon’s low-pricing policy and realized that they needed to exercise collective pressure in order to get Amazon to change its pricing policy. when Apple entered the market in January 2010, it concluded agency contracts with 5 of the major print publishers. Amazon subsequently also entered into agency contracts with the same publishers, and this in turn led to price increases throughout the e-Books market, in the us and in Europe. In April 2012, the us department of Justice sued Apple and the 5 publishers for collusive conduct ; a settlement with the publishers and a trial against Apple ensued.

Photos © Léo-Paul Ridet.

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  • Allen & Overy (Brussels)
  • Compass Lexecon (London)
  • DG COMP (Brussels)