The Connecticut Attorney General's Office has launched a probe into Apple and Amazon for entering into potentially anticompetitive agreements with electronic book retailers, according to an IDG News Service article on The New York Times.
The state's concern focuses on contract provisions known as most-favored nation (MFN) clauses, which prohibit publishers from striking discounts with other electronic book vendors. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says:
Amazon and Apple combined will likely command the greatest share of the retail e-book market, allowing their most-favored-nation clauses to effectively set the floor prices for the most popular e-books.
Blumenthal says the deals the companies made with large publishers, including Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins and Penguin, could block cheaper and competitive prices for consumers.