German watchdog investigates Apple’s audiobooks deal with Amazon

“Germany’s Federal Cartel Office has begun an investigation into Apple Inc’s arrangement with Amazon for purchasing audiobooks, the competition watchdog said in a statement on Monday,” Harro ten Wolde reports for reuters.

“It said both companies had a long-term agreement for the purchase of audio books by Apple from Amazon’s Audible business for distribution via Apple’s iTunes Store,” ten Wolde reports. “In September, the association of German book sellers lodged complaints with the watchdog that Amazon and Audible were building a monopoly in the audio book business. The association said that Amazon and Audible were abusing their dominant market position to force publishers to accept ‘unreasonable conditions’ for the marketing of audio books.”

ten Wolde reports, “It said more than 90 percent of all downloads of audio books in Germany were made via the Audible or Amazon sites, or via the iTunes store, which is exclusively supplied by Audible.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’ll be interesting to see the results of this investigation.


  1. AFAIK, Amazon sends you to the Audible site, so it’s only two providers selling audiobooks: Audible (owned by Amazon) and Apple.

    However, it is a de facto monopoly. There are some other very small audiobook providers, but they are more expensive and less flexible.

    Note that buying from Apple is foolish. Not only is it more expensive, but audiobooks are the only type of content, other than ringtones and alert tones, that you can’t re-download from the iTunes Store. So if you ever lose you’re audiobooks, you can’t get them back.

  2. I have been an audible subscriber for years, before they were acquired by Amazon.
    Audible is simply the best service around. I pay $20 a month for 2 books. They have a wide selection and add more scifi through their own brand.
    I am not even aware of any other audiobook sellers.
    Whose to blame for that?
    It’s not audible, Amazon or Apple.

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