Almunia, the EU's antitrust chief, said he hoped to resolve soon an investigation into Apple and four publishers over deals setting e-book prices.
"Hopefully in the coming couple of months, we will reach a settlement," Almunia told a British Chamber of Commerce conference.
The European Commission is now market-testing an offer by Apple and the publishers in a bid to end the EU probe. The four are CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster, News Corp unit HarperCollins, French group Lagardere SCA's Hachette Livre, and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, which owns Macmillan in Germany.
A fifth publisher, Pearson's Penguin, was also charged in the investigation, but is not participating in the settlement with the commission, which began its inquiry last December.
"For a period of two years, the four publishers will not restrict, limit or impede e-book retailers' ability to set, alter or reduce retail prices for e-books and/or to offer discounts or promotions," the European Commission said in its Official Journal, detailing the offer under consideration.
HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Hachette reached a settlement with the U.S. government in April with similar proposals.
According to analysts at UBS, e-books account for about 30 percent of the U.S. book market and 20 percent of sales in Britain, but are still negligible elsewhere.
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012