The German government has launched an investigation into the relationship between Apple and Amazon regarding audiobooks. The two companies currently have an agreement whereby Apple buys audiobooks from Amazon's Audible subsidiary, distributing them through the iTunes Store in Germany. Now Germany's Federal Cartel Office is raising concerns that this agreement could violate German antitrust laws.
"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 the statement.
This probe follows complaints from booksellers that Amazon and Audible were abusing their market position to build an audiobook monopoly. Apple had previously been the subject of a major book-related antitrust case in the United States, which it lost a couple of years ago, a ruling the company still continues to appeal.