The European Union’s antitrust watchdog is probing whether Apple helped five major publishing houses illegally raise prices for e-books when it launched its iPad tablet and iBookstore in 2010.
The probe, announced Tuesday by the European Commission, offers a glimpse into the fierce fight for shares of the growing e-book market, especially as Apple has tried to take on Amazon and its Kindle e-book reader.
In particular, the Commission is investigating a significant shift in the way the price of e-books is determined that occurred in 2010, just as Cupertino, Calif., based Apple introduced the iPad and its own online book store, iBookstore.
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