Germany launches antitrust inquiry into audiobook agreement between Apple and Amazon

Audible (Image credit: iMore)

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.

From Reuters:

"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.

Source: Reuters

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.