Friday, October 28, 2016

Apple and Amazon under investigation by German antitrust body over audiobook deal

Reuters reports that the Germany antitrust body the Federal Cartel Office has opened an investigation into the arrangement by which Apple purchases audiobooks from Amazon subsidiary Audible for sale in iTunes.

“The two companies have a strong position in the digital offering of audiobooks in Germany. Therefore, we feel compelled to examine the agreement between these two competitors in the audiobooks in more detail,” cartel office chief Andreas Mundt said in a statement.

The piece notes that Apple declined to comment, while Amazon could not be reached for comment.

Apple lost a separate U.S. case in which it was found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour in its ebook sales.  The U.S. Justice Department recently agreed that Apple had now properly addressed the issues, though this may not be the end of the battle: Apple is appealing that case to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

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